Will your first car be Chinese?
This article is the third day of FIXER Advent Calendar 2020 (https://adventar.org/calendars/5928).
My generation (平成) is definitely not as interested in cars as previous generations. In fact, I would be hard pressed to tell you even one friend who owns a car. However, as people on the countryside or people with children will tell you, there comes a time when a car become a necessity.
When/if this time comes, most of us will likely look for a cheap but sturdy Japanese, Korean or German car. However, I am here to tell you that there is a new car-player in town, China! Chinese car brands are mostly known for being cheap knockoffs with bad quality. Recently though, a few brands have popped up that have been able to rival or sometimes even surpass Western and Japanese cars. Most notably, NIO, is a Chinese electric car manufacturer that foreign reviewers have compared to Tesla and Porsche in terms of technology and quality.
Most of us reading this blog-post are likely not in the market for a luxury car, and are looking for cheaper alternatives. Luckily for us, a Chinese car manufacturer called Baojun has, in collaboration with American car-maker GM, released a fully electric car called E300 for as little as $9700 (￥1,012,835)! Foreign reviewers are calling it a game-changer, and many are comparing it to a superior version of cars like SMART or Fiat 500.
So, will the first car you buy be Chinese? Very likely, especially if you are planning to buy a car in a few years.