Will Chinese Chery Kill American Cars?

To the list of Chinese pet food, Chinese toys, Chinese furniture, Chinese laptops, Chinese this and Chinese that, American consumers will soon add Chinese cars.

Chinese car maker Chery is expected to hit the American market by 2009 and will surely kill what’s left of the struggling U.S. auto industry.

You see, Chery workers in Anhui, China earn slightly more than $1 an hour. So, how can any American car manufacturer even dream of competing against Chery or other Chinese car makers assuming they offer a decent quality car?

American auto workers can kiss their jobs and nice health benefits goodbye.

Oh, by the way Chrysler (now in private equity hands) will be selling the Chery cars in the U.S.

Recently, the Wall Street Journal’s reporters drove Chery’s A1 car across Xinjiang in China.

And for the most part, the WSJ reporters were happy with the Chery A1 car.

Gordon Fairclough writes in today’s WSJ (subscription required):

In all, we traveled more than 1,700 miles — in city traffic, on highways and even up and down steep hills off-road in the desert — and the A1 performed admirably. For a small car, the ride was surprisingly smooth and quiet, even at high speeds.

European car companies are also embracing Chery. Italian car company Fiat is sourcing engines from Chery and setting up a joint venture with Chery to make Alfa Romeo and Fiat cars for the Chinese market.

Besides Chery, other Chinese car companies include Great Wall, Jiangling Motors Company and Jinbei Automotive Company.

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