The Chinese have been expected to enter the American car market for the past decade or so. In fact, it’s rumored that the South Korean auto-giant Hyundai-Kia thought that a flood of cheap Chinese cars would all but push them out of the lucrative North American market. Theoretically (see: Probably), this is why their cars were so quickly catapulted upmarket. And now, that which they feared hath finally come to pass.
Last week, amid great fanfare, the largest of the Chinese automakers officially hung out their shingle in Detroit. SAIC (Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, a subsidiary of the…government of Shanghai) renovated a 30,000 sq-ft building in Birmingham, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The 3-story facility will house SAIC-USA’s purchasing, logistics, and ‘Technology & Engineering Department’ (aka Design) departments. Currently, SAIC is partnered heavily with our own Government Motors…I mean General Motors, and the new facility is expected to further this partnership.