Posts from ‘China’
The business world took notice when, in early 2008, Indian billionaire Ratan Tata added Jaguar and Land Rover to his vast industrial portfolio. The acquisition proved to be a source of pride for Indian nationals, many of whom delighted in the irony that India, once a subject of the British Crown, was now in control of a pair of storied English luxury brands.
Is the U.S. market ready for a return of the old-school body-on-frame midsize SUV? Ford seems to think so, as a revived version of the company’s Bronco SUV is being readied for a 2020 model-year debut.
To truly excite the passions of the American automotive media, you need news that strikes close to home. International news, no matter how significant, is generally met with indifference among many U.S. auto writers. General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra and the GM board of directors opt out of the European, Indian, and South African new-vehicle markets—yawn. The Chinese government mandates that 12 percent of new vehicles retailed in China (the world’s largest new-car market) must be pure electric by 2020—whatever.
After years of catering solely to buyers in the market for cushy luxury, the Lexus ES is ready to show some teeth. The seventh-generation ES revealed at the Beijing Auto Show will be the first available in an F Sport version.
Class: Premium Large Car
Miles driven: 288
Fuel used: 8.4 gallons
2016 Volvo S60 Inscription Platinum (FWD)
Class: Premium Midsize Car
Miles Driven: 171
Fuel Used: 8.0 gallons
Making sense of Chinese auto sales is a fairly complex proposition. While sales of new vehicles in China far outpace those in the U.S. (24.6 million units to 17.2 million, respectively), the average transaction price in the U.S. is substantially higher ($35,000 versus $21,000). What that suggests is that selling cars in the U.S. is currently a far more profitable operation, but that the potential to build in an audience in China is undeniable. Chinese Cars.
As a professional car guy and amateur curmudgeon and skeptic, I miss the early years of the 21st century. I miss them, because those were the years that Chinese automakers were making the most noise about selling cars in the U.S.
Journalists who attended auto shows in the early 2000s where companies such as Brilliance, BYD, Geely, and Changfeng Liebao presented their wares will recall with glee spectacular U.S. sales projections and shockingly tone-deaf video presentations.
Although Volvo has used the “Cross Country” and “Inscription” monikers in the past, they’ve never been used like this.
Cross Country has long been applied to an SUV-flavored version of a Volvo station wagon, while Inscription has been used of late to denote a high-end trim level. But Volvo will now be using those established names in a somewhat different manner. New for 2016 are the S60 Cross Country, which applies the designation’s traditional formula to a raised S60 sedan, and the S60 Inscription, which “expands” the use of that name to indicate a stretched S60 sedan.