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US auto exports to China rise

Edge SUV manufactured by Ford Photo: chnsuv.com

The US auto industry is bolstering its sales to the emerging markets such as China, while the Chinese auto industry is also aiming to get a foothold in the US market.

In 2013, the US exported a record of 2 million vehicles, amounting to $100 billion. Half of them were manufactured by the three giants in Detroit—GM, Ford and Chrysler. According to statistics from the American Automotive Policy Council, the number of US autos exported to China has seen a six-fold increase since 2009. The US exported 795 units of autos in 2003, but the number has increased to a combined 200,000 for the past two years.

Although the three US auto majors have production facilities in China to meet the local demand, it is predicted that their exports will not decline. Chrysler is planning to export Jeep SUVs to China and Ford is exporting Edge SUVs.

Meanwhile, Chinese auto enterprises are looking for opportunities in the US market. Many Chinese manufacturers and suppliers are setting up factories and offices in and around Detroit, in the hope of selling their products to American customers some day.

US experts say the Chinese enterprises will play a critical role in bringing the market back to prosperity. According to the governor of Michigan, Chinese enterprises have invested about $1 billion in the state, 95% of which is related to the auto industry. According to the Xinhua News Agency, more than 100 Chinese auto enterprises have invested in Detroit. Michigan ranks ninth among the 50 states in terms of Chinese investment.

Chinese auto enterprises are establishing partnerships with local companies in Detroit. Experts say the day will eventually come when the Chinese auto enterprises manufacture autos in the US and sell them to local customers, like their Japanese and South Korean counterparts.

One of the major challenges is the threat of opposition from US politicians. Nigel Francis, automotive advisor to the governor, indicated that Chinese enterprises are learning about the demands of the US market to develop products that meet the needs of US customers. He firmly believes Chinese autos will go global.

(Edited by Billie Feng)


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