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Yes..........

chinoy54 said:
thanks again, jmsteiny for the review. i just read your comprehensive review of the xiali c1 on a different thread. am i right in saying that the higher price tag of the xiali c1 would be due to the fact that it has a toyota engine? do you think that the chinese auto makers purposely add a premium to licensed branded engines when they calculate their selling prices? if so, do you think that this goes down well w/ chinese consumers? would they go for a local brand w/ a branded engine vs. say, a foreign brand in the same class-for instance, the chevy spark? or is everything dependent on the price & nothing else?

Yes is the short answer.............Xiali most likely pays Toyota a license fee and that undoubtedly is figured in to the price of the car. Also, when I went to the dealer to look and drive the car, they really talked a lot about the "toyota engine 8E" (as they called it) - it's obvious that this is a BIG selling point for the car. The flip side to this is the fact that they have to sell the C1 at a higher price than comparable models (like the QQ6).

Really, what it comes down to is the PERCEPTION of the quality of chinese cars by the potential buyer (chinese citizens). Up until the last 2 or 3 years, choices in the compact/subcompact class was pretty limited and REALLY lacking in quality. The rapid maturation of the chinese car industry as a whole is finally allowing companies like Chery, Changan, Xiali (and others) to design and build a GOOD small car with some style and even safety. This segment of the market will pretty much be exclusively chinese-branded cars - China hater is right when it comes to profit margins and foreign companies simply can't build them cheap enough and make a profit. Competition breeds quality - and that is exactly what is happening right now in the small car market in China. The buyer now has lots of CHOICES and the companies know that..........forcing them to make a BETTER car in order to stay competitive!! Finally, up until recently most chinese consumers simply assumed that chinese cars were VASTLY inferior to foreign brands - which resulted in huge sales market shares for VW and even GM with Buick. That is all changing.....consumers are now realizing that chinese cars, though not better than foreign cars, ARE getting closer when it comes to style and quality.....and sales market shares are reflecting that change in attitude. Buying a top of the line Brilliance here now carries almost the same stature as buying say............a Buick Regal.

As far as foreign engines in chinese cars (like the C1).....yes, it will still hold some buying (and selling) weight for a few more years, then slowly diminish as more chinese car companies develop their own products (like Chery with the ATTECO engine) that can be "competitive".

Hey Trivia Tim.............you're right, it DOES look really peculiar at first sight!! However, the more I see it the more I like it.........I guess the design just "grows" on you after awhile!!!:)
 
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