The Chinese are coming to America

UPDATE A fierce rivalry is brewing between the Chinese and Japanese for worldwide supremacy in the automobile market. Certainly Japan has a big lead now, but the Chinese are coming, and they are coming in a big way. In fact, sources tell us they are seriously eyeing the racing scene and speculation is that one or more of the Chinese manufacturers could badge the Cosworth engine in Champ Car. Champ Car can deliver Chinese companies decent exposure both in the USA and abroad. Champ Car is the perfect racing series for the Chinese to make their mark in racing.

If this were to happen, we would expect that Toyota and Honda will immediately have some interest in Champ Car again. Why? Because they are afraid that the Chinese will make a dent in their USA market sales and will want to try to beat up on them in racing just as they like to beat up on the American car companies on the race track. If Champ Car is able to land the Chinese and/or the Korean car companies, it will be perhaps their most significant strategic move to date.

How fierce is the Chinese vs. Japanese rivalry? Consider this – Japanese automakers insist that rising anti-Japan sentiment in China isn't crimping sales, but consumers at a major Chinese auto show that opened Friday cast a wary eye at Japanese brands. So far this month, anti-Japanese protests have hit at least 10 cities in China, and mobs in several of the protests vandalized cars with Japanese brands. "Some car owners are putting tape over the Japanese logos of their cars. Or they put a sign on the car saying, 'We are patriots,' " said Mo Wenhui, 26, a magazine advertising salesman who was perusing the Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. exhibit at the Shanghai 2005 auto show.

Relations between China and Japan — rivals for power in East Asia — are freighted with tensions despite soaring trade. Chinese remain deeply angry with Japan for its brutal occupation of China in the 1930s and '40s.

01/23/05 A reader writes, Dear, Just finished watching the "2005 North American International Auto Show" on HDNet. Mentioned during the auto show was all the recent interest of new foreign manufacturers becoming a part of the show and how the show has grown because of it. Adding more gas to the fire about your "China will be in play eventually rumor," it was said that there is a lot of interest from China in the North American Market and that within 24 months China will also be a part of the North American Auto Show. Rod Orlando, FL.

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