Chinese cars poured into us in a torrent - a blessing in China itself, the expense of manufacturers of "inexpensive and high-quality" cars already goes to hundreds. To date, the largest brands officially presented in Russian showrooms are Great Wall (Great Wall), Xinkai (read Sinkai, Great Victory) and FAW, whose interests in Russia are represented by the IRITO group of companies (it is curious that this holding is also one of the largest distributors of GAZ). The first two brands are “cars and off-road”, and First Auto (FAW) is occupied by commercial vans, trucks and buses. Other members appear, such as the ZX-Auto with the Admiral pickup.
It looks like the most ordinary miracle. The economic. They have the main thing - cheap, almost free by world standards, labor. And quality can be controlled. That is why almost 90% of electronics are now produced in China. The only industry in which our eastern neighbors have not yet distinguished themselves is the automotive industry. So dashing trouble began! The development of the automobile industry there has already been recognized as a paramount state task. The results did not slow down, and something can already be seen in Russia.
By the way, we are the first European country where Chinese auto builders try their hand. So far, Great Wall and FAW products have been exported only to the countries of Asia and South America; Xinkai has even worked on the domestic market, providing a state order to the PRC.
Where does such success come from? It's simple: firstly, the Russians were promised large, serious cars for almost a penny. Well, what other new pickup do you take for $ 10, 500? What about a $ 20, 500 frame SUV? Japanese and Korean counterparts start at $ 21–22 and $ 26–27 thousand, respectively. There is something to think about. Secondly, the Chinese have chosen for expansion a very fertile niche that is practically not occupied by Russian manufacturers - pickups. And foreign companies are not competitors here: Mazda B, Mitsubishi L200 … you will not remember others.
The “Chinese” are much larger and they are exactly half the price, that’s the whole bill.
So far, we are offered only not very neat fakes for "Made in Japan": most of the products from the Middle Kingdom have "island" counterparts. Interestingly, almost half of China's automobile companies are now suing Japanese and American colleagues who are unhappy with such a frank copy of their models. And what else should General Motors do if the enterprising oriental machine builders took and copied the successful Chevrolet Matiz, stuck their own nameplate, and even reduced the price nowhere else? To top it off, they came up with a long-suffering minicar own name - Cherry QQ. Ku-ku, dear. Witty. Offensive to the leadership of Honda: their western neighbors with amazing zeal clone the best-selling CR-V. And they borrow everything, right down to the name: S-RV, SR-V … Clearly, we ran to sue. The defendants, on the other hand, look at this with purely Chinese calmness - they say, while the trial and the case are going on, we will build a business here and earn money for the rollback. Cleverly. Such processes last a long time, but it is not easy to prove the fact of copying. In addition, the Chinese prudently purchased a license for important components and assemblies. Great Wall and Xinkai quite legally install Toyota, Isuzu engines, the licensed Toyota HiLux chassis is in full use, etc.
In IRITO, this state of affairs is not confused: “The Chinese auto industry, like the Korean one at that time, is only gaining momentum. And just like the Korean one, it starts by copying the popular, well-developed and thought-out designs of famous brands. Using the experience of Japanese manufacturers and developing the technical base, automobile companies in China are already moving to a new stage of development and are starting to offer their own unique developments, both in design and in technology. Their plants are equipped with equipment from Japan, Germany and the USA. Production is rapidly automated, build quality is constantly growing. "The Chinese government and major investment companies in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan strongly support the growing industry." Reasonably: was it ten years ago that anyone was serious about the same “Koreans”?
Since December, we have been carrying large station wagons, pickups and SUVs (Great Wall Deer G1, G2, G3, G5, Sokol C3, SUV G5; XinKai Pickup X3, SR-V X3, SUV X3). Cargo vanes, small (1–5 tons) trucks and shuttle buses under the FAW brand will soon appear.
Already now, in Great Wall salons, you can look at the G1 frame pickup truck for $ 10, 575. The Toyota 2.2 kit (recommended by AI-92) with a capacity of 105 hp, manual transmission, power steering, “music” and a spare wheel are included. Pay only $ 375 - and you get a leather interior, for another $ 380 the car will be put on alloy wheels. The body is galvanized. Or here: the scandalous SR-V under the Xinkai brand is given for $ 20 thousand almost. It looks almost like a real one, only the equipment is poorer, and there is no all-wheel drive (based on the SR-V rear-wheel drive platform HiLux). However, many "Chinese" can be ordered with all-wheel drive, for an additional fee. But the main function - image - the car in theory should perform this way. Go, take it from afar, what's on the lining …
By the end of the year, the importer company expects to sell 500–700 passenger cars and as many trucks and buses. Wishing much more. Even expensive versions have to wait a couple of months (IRITO has no central Russian warehouse yet), and the lines for the base Deer G1 are even stretched for six months.
At the official service stations, the number of customers is not yet too satisfied. There are few cars in operation, and all are new. And then what will happen when the “Chinese” pass the tests of at least a hundred thousand kilometers? Will the assembly flaws open, will the plastic rattle, will the electrician laid by the hand of the red laborer pop up? Question.
Service prices for all brands are divine: the distributor recommends taking 450 rubles for a standard hour, quite a bit by foreign standards. But you will have to go on maintenance more often than usual - once every 8, 000 kilometers. So it goes … And for the scheduled maintenance, the officials will take it in full (TO-1 - 4500 rubles).
Even more interesting with a guarantee. They put 2 years or 50 thousand mileage on the components and assemblies, but they were reinsured with obligations on the body. Or do the "blue ones" really rot so much that dealers guarantee only two (!) Years without holes? Excuse me, AvtoVAZ gives six. However, like the Great Wall: their cars are galvanized.
But there are no problems with spare parts. Moscow already has a regional spare parts warehouse with delivery within 2-3 days. In extreme cases, the Japanese counterpart will come down, here our people do not need to be taught.
So what is next?
Then the Chinese will face Russian factories. The number of IRITO dealers has already exceeded 70, and exotic can be ordered in most regions. Sellers willingly take up dealerships, because there is also interest in buyers, and the distributor has not yet made any special requirements. For example, the "Chinese" is not forbidden to exhibit under the same roof with other brands. But the presence of a special repair zone is a prerequisite.
In addition, manufacturers from the Middle Kingdom are already thinking about creating an assembly plant with us. Of course, for the time being, the domestic manufacturer has nothing to fear. After all, we practically do not produce models with which the "Chinese" would compete. But a year or two will pass, and cars worth $ 5-8 thousand will flood here.
One thing is for sure: to the Russian consumer all this mess is only for the good. Our brands and products of the joint venture had rivals from where they did not wait - active, ambitious, ready to dump. Suddenly willy-nilly and the rest will catch up?