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Old 12-11-2006, 07:06 PM   #21
dragin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BringIt
........I could have a small 4 door pickup, with that brand new car smell, backed by a 10 year warranty...... I'd take the new truck thank you very much.

From the CHAMCO website:

"ZXAUTO NA's SUV and pickup products offer a strong minimum 3-year/36,000-mile limited warranty program as well as a 495 Toyota-type 160-horsepower turbo-charged fuel injection engine (subject to change), currently projected to provide 2530 miles per gallon fuel efficiency."

Oh by the way what's a "495 Toyota-type 160-horsepower turbo-charged fuel injection engine" ????



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Old 12-12-2006, 10:34 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BringIt
Again, I do not believe no one wants small trucks, especially with the gas prices these days. They don't buy small trucks because there are no good choices. The major car makers simply abandoned this segment because they don't make any money at all. The Ranger is dying because it's just way too old, and the price is not that much cheaper than a F-150, which Ford can build for the same money and promotes heavily (when's the last time you seen a Ranger commercial?)

Remember just a few years back everyone wrote off the small car market? Small cars were ugly and unattractive (remember the Echo?) Now with gas prices going thru the roof and a new wave of smartly designed small cars, the segment is booming.

Same thing can be done to the small truck market. A smart and attractively designed, robust and reliable, well priced entry would do quite well. (Again, keep in mind of the gas prices. Without that factor, small trucks or cars would not fly in the US market.)

Let's see, do I want a gas guzzling, used F-150, about to run out of warranty, with funny dog pee smell and unknown stains on the seats, OR I could have a small 4 door pickup, with that brand new car smell, backed by a 10 year warranty, do much better on gas, all for the same $9000? I'd take the new truck thank you very much.
The Ranger (and Mazda B-Series) is thousands of dollars less expensive than an F-Series, as are the GM triplets (Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Isuzu I-Series). Even with the 4-door Isuzu being sold with a 10-year warranty and a price well under $15,000, sales are still pitiful.

Gas prices are far from "going thru the roof" and the compact car market is doing well, but it's not "booming." Other than Scion's 150,000 additional sales, what vehicle is "booming" in that segment? Yaris? Echo sold very well in its first years too. Aveo? The Metro sold very well in its first years.

Pickups are, for the most part, designed to work. Some casual buyers are realizing that and moving to cars and "crossovers." And the people who actually use their trucks would rather have a full-sized pickup (a V6 F150 gets only slightly less mileage than a V6 Ranger) or at minimum a mid-sized pickup from Dodge or Toyota. There's little or no demand for a pickup smaller than those trucks in the US. If Subaru's Baja had been a bigger seller, I might be convinced otherwise. But I just don't see it.

As for price, off-lease F150s can be found clean (no dog pee) with plenty of mileage left on them. An F150 will routinely run well over 100,000 miles without a major problem...who's going to believe that a "no-name" brand from a country that has never sold a vehicle in the US will do the same on their first try? And who will repair it when something does go wrong?
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Old 12-12-2006, 01:02 PM   #23
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Now try and sell that brand new 4 door Isuzu for $10,000 - you don't think they can sell 100,000 of them a year? Same with the Subaru's Baja (the styling is aweful I know). You'd be crazy not to.

In my mind, this "small truck" entry from a Chinese truck maker, must meet any and all minimum requirements to enter the US market. With that said, we don't need to worry about service and parts - those demands will be met. The truck will have to be modern and well-built, with as many parts already available on the market as possible - such as piston rings and gaskets. A crappy product is simply not acceptable here, the success of any strategy depends on it. The size should be similar to last gen Toyota Tacoma.

Small car segment is not booming?!? The segment is up some 15+% in some reports I've seen, while the overall market is down. Even the about to be redesigned Corolla is setting records. Good luck trying to buy a Yaris or Fit. You mentioned Scion - now imagine Scion coming out with a hot uni-body compact pickup, inline with the rest of the lineup, with tons of personalization parts and a low price - I'd think that would sell very well.

Yes, the gas price has come down from the $3+ we paid in CA over the summer, but people are shell-shocked and everyone understands that we will again see $3 soon, if not $4. The "casual" buyers of trucks, which is about 70% of them, are switching out of trucks because they don't have a choice.

I don't know where you live, but from where I stand, I can see a lot of first time car buyers, young people, low-income folks, people who want a second or third car, or want something to haul or tow their toys around (such as dirt bikes or jet ski) to be interested in a well-built and well-backed brand new compact pickup starting under $9,000 and fuel efficient. Selling 100,000 a year is not out of the question.

Used cars outsell new ones by 3 to 1. So for every 3 people who would choose a used truck, 1 would choose a new one. Yeah, plenty of people would take your used F-150, but there will be folks who would take my new truck instead for the same money.

I don't disagree that there will be challenges. But I still believe this is the easiest vehicle segment for the Chinese cars to enter. If Chinese car makers can't even successfully enter this segment, they shouldn't come to the US market at all.

Btw, if you don't think this is the easiest segment, please suggest which one is...?
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Old 12-12-2006, 04:52 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BringIt
Now try and sell that brand new 4 door Isuzu for $10,000 - you don't think they can sell 100,000 of them a year? Same with the Subaru's Baja (the styling is aweful I know). You'd be crazy not to.
No...I don't think that, and it's my job to study such things. If a four-door Isuzu could sell 100,000 copies at $10,000, they'd sell more than the 6-7k a year at just a couple thousand dollars more.

Buyers want to know that they can get service (which a new brand cannot guarantee)...and a used car already has a dealer network available. Buyers want to know that the truck will have some value in five years...ask Daewoo buyers what their cars are worth today. All these things point to a new Chinese truck NOT reaching 100,000 units of sales in the first few years of sales in the US.

American trucks are better equipped than the Chinese trucks. They're better quality. And they don't get taxed with a 25% tariff (which Chinese trucks would get).
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Old 12-13-2006, 09:58 AM   #25
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The Isuzu is a Chevy/GMC knockoff, so no one in their right mind would buy a Chevy re-badged as an Isuzu (it's like a downgrade), that's where this particular problem lies. Now, how many Chevy/GMC/Isuzu sells in a year? Yes, a lot. Now reduce the price to $10,000... they'd flying off the shelves.

Again, you're talking about dealer network and maintenance/repair services - I've said it's a given that whoever comes to this market, in any vehicle segment, must have this area covered, so it's a moot point. Ask Daewoo buyers? Why not ask Kia and Hyundai buyers?

The 25% truck tariff only applies to 2 door single cab trucks (I'm pretty sure of it). That's why I keep saying a "4 door truck", and the truck can't be something right off the Chinese market, it has to be a design up to US standards - so we can assume it will be nicely designed, engineered, and equipped.

Finally, my whole point in all of my posts in this thread is that the compact pickup is the easiest vehicle segment for the Chinese car makers to enter the US market. All of the points you raised, about quality, reputation, dealer network, resale value, used vs new, etc. applies to any vehicle segment, so again, they're moot points. Chinese car makers will need to face those obstacles no matter what vehicle segment they enter first.

So one more time - I think compact pickup is the easiest segment to enter first and I gave my reasons. Which segment do you think would be easier or more ideal? Please provide your reasons and rationale.
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Old 12-13-2006, 03:05 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BringIt
The Isuzu is a Chevy/GMC knockoff, so no one in their right mind would buy a Chevy re-badged as an Isuzu (it's like a downgrade), that's where this particular problem lies. Now, how many Chevy/GMC/Isuzu sells in a year? Yes, a lot. Now reduce the price to $10,000... they'd flying off the shelves.
Technically, Chevrolet and GMC are knockoffs of the Isuzu pickup since Isuzu designed the truck in the first place. The Isuzu is already under $12,000 in transaction prices for extended cab pickups and a little more for crew cabs, they carry a much better warranty than the Chevrolet/GMC (making the GM brands a downgrade), and they sell far fewer than 10,000 units a year. The ONLY reason why Chevrolet and GMC are clearing 165,000 trucks a year is because they have somewhere above 5,000 dealers selling them, which brings us to the next point...
Quote:
Originally Posted by BringIt
Again, you're talking about dealer network and maintenance/repair services - I've said it's a given that whoever comes to this market, in any vehicle segment, must have this area covered, so it's a moot point. Ask Daewoo buyers? Why not ask Kia and Hyundai buyers?
Yes, they "must have this area covered," which they won't. It has taken Kia 14 years to build their current dealership network and they have no vehicles sold in volumes over 100,000 units a year. Hyundai has over two decades in the US and they have one 100,000-unit model. Unless you're talking 20 years after model introduction, my bet is against Zhongxing selling 100,000 of any model in the US in a year.

I pointed to Daewoo because Hyundai and Kia actually have some resale value. Daewoo does not. Yugo didn't. Price alone does not sell a vehicle, and I can almost guarantee that a $10,000 four-door pickup from China will compete more with 4-year old (or more probably 6-year old) used pickups. I can't imagine any significant number of new-truck buyers seriously considering a $10,000 "small" pickup from an unknown manufacturer when a $12,000 Isuzu or $15,000 Ford/Chevrolet is available with more cargo capacity and proven track records...and documented resale values.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BringIt
The 25% truck tariff only applies to 2 door single cab trucks (I'm pretty sure of it). That's why I keep saying a "4 door truck", and the truck can't be something right off the Chinese market, it has to be a design up to US standards - so we can assume it will be nicely designed, engineered, and equipped.
Actually the tariff applies to "trucks," 2-door, extended cab, or 4-door pickups and even commercial vans. There was even a point where 2-door SUVs were considered to be trucks under the same regulation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BringIt
So one more time - I think compact pickup is the easiest segment to enter first and I gave my reasons. Which segment do you think would be easier or more ideal? Please provide your reasons and rationale.
You're probably right that this would be the easiest to enter. My point is that "easiest" doesn't equate to "easy." All of the obsticles I've mentioned are huge which is why the number of new light-vehicle manufacturers entering the US market in the past 20 years can be counted on one hand.
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Old 12-13-2006, 04:18 PM   #27
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Technically, yes, Isuzu did most of the design work (while under partial GM ownership) but who cares? The general public's perception is much more important (and you emphasized that in many of your points). The fact is no American is going to buy the same Chevy/GMC truck with an Isuzu logo on it.

Re-read all of my posts. I never said it will be easy - I only said this is the easiest segment to enter. I never said it will be Zhongxing. I never said whoever it may be could sell 100,000 in the very first year. It's like when someone said let's build a computer from scratch and you jump right in and say, "Oh, you can't build a computer overnight!" yet no one implied it can be done overnight...

I'm talking apple, and you keep talking orange. At the very least, you agreed that this is the easiest car segment to enter. Good. ("Easiest" is relative, like the English major is easier than Genetic Engineering).

Again, all of the obstacles you mentioned are well known, by everyone in the car industry, even all the folks on this forum. Nothing new there. Those same obstacles will only be greater if you try to bring vehicles in another segment, such as Bricklin's plan with luxury cars. At the very least, the obstacles are smaller when it comes to low-priced compact pickups.

The Chinese cars will eventually be here. Do you not agree with that? I'm sure you do. They will HAVE TO overcome all of the obstacles you mentioned and more, yes? I'm certain you would have to agree with that too. It will take a ton of money, lots of time, great people, and good products, marketing, service, etc. etc. to get the business up to speed, yes? I'm positive you have to nod your head. To get straight to the point, these obstacles are NOT unique to the compact truck segment, and you can stop talking oranges now...
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Old 12-14-2006, 10:05 AM   #28
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Take whatever angle makes you feel best, but I was talking the same apples as you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BringIt
The fact is no American is going to buy the same Chevy/GMC truck with an Isuzu logo on it.
This goes to my point. The SAME truck with a better warranty, a lower price, and established dealerships can't sell 10,000 units. And your point is that it's a lesser name. Do you think another brand entering the US market with no history and a $10,000 price tag will have a better name than Isuzu?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BringIt
I never said whoever it may be could sell 100,000 in the very first year.
Right, but even five or ten years will take STELLAR quality and a SPECTACULAR dealer network. Pickup truck buyers are particularly patriotic in the US, which is probably why the Ranger (and ancient vehicle) still sells 100,000 units a year. And yet another reason (on top of the tariff issue) that all pickups sold in the US are actually built in North America.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BringIt
Again, all of the obstacles you mentioned are well known, by everyone in the car industry, even all the folks on this forum. Nothing new there. Those same obstacles will only be greater if you try to bring vehicles in another segment, such as Bricklin's plan with luxury cars. At the very least, the obstacles are smaller when it comes to low-priced compact pickups.
The obstacles are smaller, but in the long-term selling something higher priced with even more features (Bricklin's BMW at a Chevrolet price idea) is a better concept. If you enter at the entry level, you're going to be saddled with the "cheap" label for a long time, like Hyundai who now builds very good cars but still can't shake the Excel heritage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BringIt
The Chinese cars will eventually be here.
Yes. So will the Indian and Thai manufacturers. I even expect Russian vehicles at some point and there's the potential for Brazilian vehicles to return to the US market. But pickups have a financial handicap (except for Thailand who might be excempted from the "chicken tax" that charges 25% on pickups), even for low-cost Chinese manufacturers.

Enough of this apple and orange talk...I'm getting hungry.
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Old 12-14-2006, 11:08 AM   #29
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Here's my problem with your "oranges".

Essentially NONE of your points is unique to the compact truck segment, they universally applies to all vehicle segments, whether they be luxury, sports car, full size SUV, etc. etc.

My only point of this entire thread is that the compact truck segment should be of the least resistence for entry, given the requirements for fit-and-finish, NVH, styling, etc. are lower than any other vehicle segment.

STOP telling me how difficult it will be, EVERYONE KNOWS IT WON'T BE A CAKE WALK, NO MATTER WHAT VEHICLE SEGMENT IT IS, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER IT'S CHINESE, INDIAN, OR RUSSIAN THAT IS TRYING TO CRACK THE MARKET. That is "orange" talk.

If you're talking "apples" with me, you should only argue about whether or not the compact truck segment is the easiest segment to enter first. (And if not, what is?)

Is that clear enough for ya? (Peeps are DENSE on this forum... )
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Old 12-14-2006, 11:15 AM   #30
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By the way, just for your sake, I created a topic called "Potential obstacles / difficulties of entering the US vehicle market", so you can continue on and on about how it will take 20 years for a new foreign brand to establish itself in the US market...

https://www.chinacarforums.com/forum/...0023#post10023

Last edited by BringIt; 12-14-2006 at 11:23 AM.
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