TRENDS: First China-made cars in U.S. may total easily

Speaking at an industry event last month, Greg Horn of Mitchell International offered a look at some of the vehicles that Chinese automakers – a number of which have plans to enter the U.S. market – currently produce.
Horn said Great Wall Motors is predicting a U.S. launch in 2015, following the model used by Kia some years ago, with sales in several states and entry into the rental fleet. The company will use feedback from that limited launch to make improvements before selling on a broader scale.
Horn said the expected low cost of early Chinese vehicles in this country will likely lead to more totals than repaired vehicles.
But the success of any of the Chinese automakers here will largely be dependent on their ability to set up the replacement parts infrastructure that is needed, Horn said. Sterling Motors and Daihatsu, he said, failed largely because a lack of parts availability led to repair delays and total losses. “The folks that have the best infrastructure for supporting their brand will be the Chinese brands that survive going forward,” Horn said.