Date
15 December 2017
Visitors try out cars on display at a recent auto show in Beijing. Improvements in the quality of Chinese cars have not prevented a sharp drop in their share of the world's largest auto market. Photo: AFP
Visitors try out cars on display at a recent auto show in Beijing. Improvements in the quality of Chinese cars have not prevented a sharp drop in their share of the world's largest auto market. Photo: AFP

Chinese carmakers improve quality gap with foreign rivals

Chinese carmakers have vastly improved the quality of their brands, narrowing the gap with foreign rivals to the smallest in seven years, the Financial Times reported, citing the latest survey by a leading industry consultancy.

The annual quality survey of China’s car market by California-based J.D. Power showed 131 problems per 100 domestic vehicles, compared with 95 per foreign vehicle, the report said. The poll tracks the number of mechanical and design problems per 100 vehicles as reported by more than 21,000 Chinese drivers.

When China surpassed the United States as the world’s largest car market in 2008, the gap between domestic and foreign cars was 145 points, according to the newspaper.

“It’s a testament to the improvements that domestic brands have been making over recent years,” Geoff Broderick, head of J.D. Power’s Asia-Pacific operations, was quoted as saying. “By 2018 the domestic and global brands will be on parity in terms of quality.”

Despite the steady improvements in the quality of Chinese cars, the market share of domestic passenger sedans, excluding sport-utility vehicles, has dropped to 20 percent this year from 25 percent, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

This has raised questions about Chinese carmakers’ ability to emerge as global competitors, the report said.

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