Monday, August 14, 2006
scoring a ZERO
this is the chinese-made Chery qq. china has designs on shipping this car to the US for sale. malcom bricklin, "famous" for importing such notable products as the Rabbit scooter, the Subaru brand, keeping the "hot" Fiat models in the US for a little longer under the Bertone brand name, and, well, who can forget YUGO, is using all of his vast sales skills to gather investors for THE NEXT BIG THING, Chery. (let's not forget about the self-named bricklin sports car, a gullwinged kit-car like vehicle that captivated millions...ok, not millions...maybe 10-12.)
the Chery brand has it's problems. first, it's an exact copy of cars sold around the world with a little brand called Chevy on them. that in itself is enough for pause...why not create it's own car? because it's better to just to copy a successful existing design, right? ...which leads us to the second problem...how cheap is too cheap? china knows that americans love a bargain, so getting the Chery to the market here as cheaply as possible is a must. a little thing called crash testing has proved that the Chery is too cheap, scoring ZERO stars on that crash rating that we hear so much about. (Kia, a once-discount brand, scores 5 stars on it's fast selling mini-vans) Survivability is not possible for the driver in the 30mph offset crash test of the qq.
eventually, the Chery qq will make it here. and, just like all things sold at wal-mart at unbelievable prices, consumers will be seriously interested. (word on the streets is that ol' malcom is seriously talking to wal-mart about being the exclusive Chery dealership...("clean-up in home decor! sir, would you like a free Chery with your 10-pak roll of charmin?")
let's hope that americans can be more discerning with their health and safety than to take china and it's automobile industry too seriously, at least in the forseable future.