Monday, May 28, 2012

Retaliatory Carmaking: Dongfeng Makes Ersatz Cadillac SRX. Thank You, Mr. President!

A (hecho en Mexico) Cadillac SRX costs between $67,700 and $91,000 once it's sold in China. It doubles its price compared to the U.S. because of a monster tariff in China. Soon, there will be a more affordable version. A much, much, much more affordable version. Except that it won't be from  GM.

The monster tariff was made in the U.S.A. The U.S. had enacted a hamfisted punitive tariff on Chinese tires. Not a single additional tire was produced in the U.S., instead tire production moved from China to Thailand. As a tit-for-tat, China slapped a retaliatory tariff on (mostly) American cars and trucks.

Now, the monster tariff helps sell Chinese trucks. A still nameless SUV will be sold by Chinese government-owned Dongfeng. It looks like a Cadillac SRX that had too hot a car wash and shrunk a bit. In China, it will go for between $12,600 and $18,900, says Carnewschina. It probably won't take long until one can buy Cadillac SRX badges in China to do-up the Dongfeng.

Once you are on the inside, the trucklet will also look familiar. The inside looks like a last gen Kia Sorrento, Carnewschina says.

Dongfeng did not have to look far for inspiration and possibly tools and parts. The last-gen Kia Sorento is still made in China by a Dongfeng-Yueda-Kia joint venture.

To turn it even more into an international affair, the engine is suspected to be a 2.0 liter 4-cylinder from Nissan, Carnewschina says. This ubiquitous engine is can be found in many Nissan's that are made by the Dongfeng-Liuzhou-Nissan joint venture. According to the usually well informed Carnewschina, "it is very unlikely that either Kia or Nissan know anything at all."

from The Truth About Cars

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