American automakers, however, must be loving China right now.
GM's March sales in China were 25 percent greater than a year ago. Not only has the rising tide in China's auto market lifted all boats, but Chinese car buyers look to foreign brands for quality.
The quality hierarchy in China looks something like this:
- Imported foreign brands
- Domestically assembled foreign brands
- Chinese brands
International politics aside, according to this piece from CBS News, US brands are perceived as high quality. American automakers have adapted to the Chinese market by, among other things, focusing on making the backseat passenger comfortable -- not something that gets much attention at home.
Former VP for Chrysler in East Asia and founder of Synergistics, Ltd., Bill Russo, and GM China President Kevin Wale comment in this video. (h/t to Synergistics for the video link)