China’s ailing car makers must “conquer their home market” before they have any chance of succeeding globally, according to Asian car industry consultant Bill Russo.
The home-market share of China’s car makers has been falling for some years, with passenger car sales by domestic brands dropping to just under 29 per cent of the market last year.
China is expected to export around 580,000 cars this year, a fall on last year, and many of the vehicles will be sold to less competitive markets such as the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.
Making inroads into the US, Western Europe and Asia-Pacific markets is still seen as a huge step, despite the Chinese government wanting to see its domestic car industry exporting to the rest of the world.
Speaking at last week’s Global Automotive Forum in Wuhan, China, Russo said although China would be the “centre of the automotive universe in the 21st century”, a globally competitive car maker had yet to emerge from the country. “It is difficult to live in the West and not buy Chinese-made goods, but where is the Chinese Hyundai?” he said.