People who can afford it prefer not to buy crap. Who knew?
Chinese cars don't enjoy the greatest of reputations outside of China, but a new report from Bloomberg suggests that they're quickly falling out of favor even on their home turf. In fact, the numbers are startling. Domestic brands made up 41 of the Chinese market at the end of 2010, but that number fell to just 28 percent by the end of last year. And this in spite of the fact that the Chinese government does everything in its power to stack the deck in favor of domestic brands.
This is partly done by simply placing heavy taxes on imports, but also by creating laws which prevent foreign companies from owning majority shares in concerns jointly owned with local Chinese manufacturers. When it was recently suggested by one Chinese official that these laws be relaxed, opponents said that it could lead to the collapse of the entire Chinese automotive industry, and they might have been right. Chinese state-owned TV has even been attacking foreign brands, but the simple fact of the matter is that domestic brands can't match the quality of their competitors.