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Chinese and Asian car makers seem obsessed with cracking the US market so much so that the boss of Proton recently said that they had to make cars to appeal to the US market first.

But to my way of thinking this is just plain daft! The best thing to do is to target the worlds most competitive market. If you can sell cars in the most competitive market then your products will sell anywere. In my view this market is found in the UK and Europe. Europe has a long history of exporting cars that sell in Europe to the US. These cars are pretty much identical to the ones sold in Europe. But when US car makers attempt to sell cars in Europe they generally set up a seperate European operation because their US cars struggle to sell in Europe.

A great example is the new Jeep Cherokee. The Cherokee used to sell quite well in Europe when there wasn't much competion. But now that BMW, Volvo, VW, etc have joined the market Jeep sales have plumeted. Why? Well the Cherokee has a big ugly Chrome grill and the interior is cheap and tacky. Apparantly this is ok in the USA, but it's too down market for Europe.

In Europe we pay more for cars so we expect more! Competion is fierce. So if you design cars for the US then they will struggle in Europe. But if you design cars for Europe (and Japan) then they will sell in the US.

When will car Asian and Chinese car makers realise this?
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