WE have been hearing about Chinese cars coming to Australia for more than two years. I remember articles from 2008, maybe earlier, stating that they were literally around the corner, and here we are two years later and no closer to seeing a passenger car. I feel that they are doomed at least in the short/medium term and here’s why: LOOK at Proton. Similar story — offering low price and budget cars but have largely failed in the Australian marketplace WHAT car company introduced into the market in the past 20 years has truly succeeded? The French have failed. Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge still has less than 1 per cent of the market after 15 years. Daihatsu even bailed. THIS is the big one — there’s a BIG difference between a Chinese-built car and a Chinese-branded car.
People will be reluctant to buy Chinese-branded cars at first, because who knows what their long-term future is?
David Z, email The reality is simple: the Chinese are coming and they are coming strongly. In the two years since the last Carsguide visit they have focused far more on exports with three brands committed and at least another two in the starting blocks. It will take some time, but Great Wall already proves with its utes that plenty of people will gamble if the price is good enough.
In regard to Smithy’s review of the Chrysler Grand Voyager, there were two errors in the article that need to be clarified. The image used was incorrect, as where the article referred to the previous-generation Chrysler Grand Voyager (RG) the vehicle pictured was the current-generation Grand Voyager (RT). Also, when Smithy referred to the vehicle’s safety rating he mentioned the test was performed by ANCAP, but this is incorrect. The test was performed in Europe on a left-hand drive vehicle with a powertrain that was never available to the Australian market.
Jerry Stamoulis, PR manager, Chrysler Australia