China’s domestic brands are not yet ready to play on the international stage, according to a senior automotive analyst.
Speaking to Autocar ahead of the Global Automotive Forum in China this week, JFP Holdings managing partner and analyst Jack Perkowski said: “It takes a while. There are some big constraints internationally, first of all the safety standards. The stricter emission requirements are also a problem. Once you get all that qualified it’s then about establishing a dealer network. That doesn’t get handled overnight."
JFP Holdings, a merchant bank based in China, is an organising partner of the GAF. The annual conference, which this year is taking place in Chongqing, sees both domestic and international manufacturers and suppliers meet to debate the future of the automotive industry.
Naturally, the expansion of China’s domestic brands is a big talking point, but Perkowski believes the country’s home manufacturers need time to develop: “About ten years ago some big players all made big runs at trying to expand, and they found it was harder than they thought, so they decided to focus on China and improve their game.”
Not helping matters is the fact that Chinese buyers have yet to be fully persuaded to buy from a domestic brand. “It’s a problem,” said Perkowski “I had one senior executive tell me that no matter what features they put onto a car, it’s still hard for them to sell a Chinese brand for more than 100,000 Yuan (about £10,500).
“The Chinese consumers are discerning and they know there are companies which have been doing this for a long time.”
While some Chinese models have historically not fared well when faced with Euro-NCAP's crash test procedures, Chinese start-up brand Qoros made history in 2013 when its 3 Saloon was named the safest car of 2013.