The aim of this study is to analyse assorted facets of the international concern environment of China ‘s automotive industry, and offer a recommendation on whether a U.S. transnational rider auto manufacturer should prosecute its concern in China and how.

The debut of the unfastened door policy in 1979 marked a new epoch in China ‘s automotive industry. By 1985, the figure of domestic manufacturers jumped dual. In add-on, China ‘s entry to the WTO has brought both benefits and costs to the domestic automotive industry. The Chinese functionaries are to the full cognizant that the local manufacturers are weak and inefficient, and protections are indispensable to develop the industry.

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To make effectual concern in China, foreign concerns do non merely have to get the better of disadvantages stemmed from a high degree of protection steps against foreign competition, but besides to encompass the cultural difference in concern pattern. In peculiar, guanxi or web of relationships, are considered to be a critical success factor for concerns to last in China. Finally, possible yuan reappraisal may good propose that exporting would be a better means to come in the Chinese market, as U.S. export will go more competitory in footings of monetary value.


This subdivision gives an overview of the Chinese automotive industry. First, it begins with a brief history of the development of China ‘s car industry, which serves as background information for China ‘s car industry analysis conducted subsequently in this study. Second, it examines the current and future province of the rider auto market.

China ‘s automotive industry had been through two of import phases of development: the pre-reforms period ( 1949 -1979 ) , and during the reforms period ( 1980 and onwards ) . Before 1949, China to a great extent relied on import from abroad to carry through the domestic demand, given the local automotive manufacturers were yet to be developed. Not until the terminal of the civil war in 1949, China ‘s new authorities started to develop its large-scale industries, including automotive, with the assistance from USSR.

The Pre-reforms Period. The First Automotive Work ( FAW ) , established in 1956, was the first local manufacturer in China. Its constitution was a consequence of China ‘s modernisation and industrialisation attempts. In 1958, the Chinese witnessed its first domestic-made rider auto, Red Flag or Hongqi, launched by FAW. However, in that period, the Chinese automotive industry was instead inefficient and confronted terrible force per unit area from importers that possess better engineering and managerial proficiency.

In December 1978, China ‘s economic reforms were instituted. The debut of the unfastened door policy in 1979 had influential effects on the automotive industry. First, the cardinal authorities loosened the entry ordinance to the domestic endeavors. Under this policy, the automotive industry developed quickly and became less saturated. For case, within five old ages, the figure of automotive endeavors doubled, as shown in table 1.

Table 1. Number of Automotive Enterprises and Parts and Components Suppliers

Beginning: China Automotive Industry Yearbook 2003

Second, the unfastened door policy actively encouraged foreign transnational auto makers to put and run in China ‘s automotive market through joint venture. The principle behind served two intents: First, joint embarking with local spouses would let foreign makers to obtain market entree in exchange for the technological transportation. Second, the joint venture format would screen the baby industry from direct competition against foreign giants. And, in 1983, the first Sino-foreign joint venture in the automotive industry was formed by Beijing Automobile Corporation and the American Motors Corporation.

The Reforms Period. Today, China is one of the universe largest automotive manufacturers. As shown in figure 1, China has experienced a sustain growing since 2000. Until late, China car production has surpassed the U.S. and go the 2nd largest car manufacturer, draging merely Japan, which has shown comparatively small overall growing in production.

Figure 1. Entire Annual Production of Leading Motor Vehicle Producers

In peculiar, the exponential growing in the rider auto market, generated by the increasing demand among middle-class, is the chief driver to today ‘s enlargement in China ‘s car industry, shown in figure 2. Note that the rider auto market was non well developed until in late 2001, when China ‘s entry to WTO sufficiently lowered its duty barrier to foreign makers.

Current State of China ‘s Auto Industry. Presently, approximately 70 % of the China ‘s auto market is held by Chinese-foreign joint ventures. The debut of foreign competition and joint ventures are of import in keeping the verve of the market. As indicated in figure 3, the current disconnected rider auto market is dominated by legion of manufacturers, with which the largest manufacturers, Shanghai-Volkswagen, capturing less than 11 % of the entire gross revenues or 708,100 vehicles in the market, bespeaking the rider market is really healthy.

Figure 2. Chinese Motor Vehicle Production

Figure 3. 2009 rider autos gross revenues round up ( 10,000 unit )

Beginning: China association of car makers

Another grounds of energy of China ‘s rider market is the figure of new merchandise development launched into the market. There are in entire 175 of new auto theoretical accounts introduced, which is tantamount to a 75 % growing in compared to that of 2008. However, it may be overoptimistic to anticipate the rider auto market will go on to turn at a projectile rate. As Li ( 2004 ) illustrates, the crisp addition in ratio of auto ownership in urban metropoliss to 190 autos per 100 citizens, bespeaking on norm a individual Chinese individual possesses about two autos, may exercise force per unit area on the aggregative demand for rider autos, or at least from those major metropoliss like Beijing and Shanghai.

Analysis of Chinese National Business System and Cultural Conditions

Foreign concerns are influenced in a great extent by the ordinances set by the province. One important difference between the two states ‘ concern system is the function of authorities, in footings of the action of authorities engagement and the extent in which economic power is decentralized to private involvements. Unlike in the U.S. where the endeavors are liberalized to prosecute private involvements, the less crystalline concern system in China is to a great extent regulated and controlled by the cardinal province. One such illustration, relevant to the car industry, is the entry ordinance for foreign direct investing. While it is possible to put up entirely foreign-owned endeavors in China, foreign concern are non allowed to sell their merchandises in the domestic market. Alternatively, they can take to hold joint venture with a local spouse, to derive entree to the Chinese domestic market.

It is good recognized that Chinese local automotive manufacturers are to a great extent protected from international competition by high duties and rigorous import quotas and ordinances. For case, China has restored the local content regulations that it was required to get rid of as portion of its WTO Accession Agreement in 2001. To be specific, if more than 60 % of the value of a vehicle is accounted for by imported parts, the maker must pay responsibilities of 25 % on all imported parts in the vehicle. Consequently, this step does non merely set force per unit area on the fiscal public presentation of foreign concerns, but it may besides disrupt their production and supply concatenation.

The impact of the entry limitation and the local content ordinance are comparatively unimportant for those foreign joint venture enterprises that chiefly bring forth low-middle category vehicles, since the less sophisticated production demand can be met by utilizing Chinese local produced car constituents. But the impact of local content ordinance is dearly-won to companies, such as BMW, Mercedes and Lexus, which are positioned in the up-end market, which to a great extent depend on quality imported car parts. Therefore, top-class car manufacturers should merely vie through exporting alternatively of foreign investing, or otherwise they may happen themselves at a disadvantage.

However, to further perplex the affair, the joint venture partnership, as an entry ordinance, in certain extent can be viewed as a subscriber and chance for foreign concerns to better incorporate the cultural difference alternatively of an obstruction to be overcome. If the entry ordinance were eliminated, it would be comparatively hard for foreign entrants to understand the demands of the Chinese consumers and to follow the local civilization.

In peculiar, for case, Guanxi, or relationship backed by mutual duty, are widely accepted to be a critical success factor for concerns to last in China. Firms that lack sufficient guanxi may happen themselves at a disadvantage. As one of import lesson that can larn from Wal-Mart ‘s success in China is to encompass brotherhoods and parties in order to construct up guanxi, which later opened the manner for Wal-Mart to derive a strong bridgehead in the market ( Hill, 2009 ) .

National civilization critically affects many facets of international concern. Given the cross-cultural difference in the U.S. and China, the purchasing behaviour is significantly different. But to win in China, foreign concerns must accommodate its selling and operations scheme to engage the Chinese civilization and penchant.

Summary of Findings Based on Wheel of Consumer Analysis. One method for understanding the auto purchasing behaviour between the U.S. and China is referred to as the wheel of consumer analysis, created by Olson & A ; Peter ( 1994 ) . The model consists of three properties: Environment, mentioning to all physical and societal feature of the consumers ‘ environment status ; affect, or knowledge, refering the internal and psychological reaction in response to selling stimulations ; and behavior, sing the physical reaction in response to selling stimulations. These properties are utile to explicate the grounds for purchaser behaviour differences between American and Chinese consumers.

An earlier survey undertaken by Liu and Bai ( 2008 ) indicated that Chinese auto purchasers are comparatively cautious and choice witting. Relevant to the environmental features, the influence of the presence of mention group seems to distinguish the two groups. Empirically, for case, approximately 68 % of the Chinese purchasers in Beijing usage mention group as their primary beginning of information during the buying procedure, unlike the Americans consumers who are more likely to carry on extended information research based on cyberspace and booklet as inputs.

Another of import facet, which is alone to the Chinese car market, is the snap on auto ownership. From an economic point of position, the degree of snap is proportionate to the size of purchase relation to the entire outgo. In other words, if the outgo on buying the auto takes up a big part of the consumers ‘ entire outgo, it is more likely that consumers will go price-conscious and negotiate smartly. In fact, as opposed to this phenomenon, Chinese consumers demonstrate a high grade of sensitiveness on monetary value, even if the size of outgo does non look to count ( Johnson & A ; Chang, 2000 ) .

Note that, the wheel of consumer analysis is non complex plenty to to the full reflect the sophisticated national civilization between the U.S. and China. Beyond this issue, foreign concerns shall be alarmed the cultural differences and any possible alteration in the auto purchasing behaviour. Some may reason that bing foreign joint ventures are educating the local consumers and bit by bit altering the purchasing civilization in China towards a convergent planetary civilization through globalisation ( Hipsher, 2007 ) . Whether this would be desirable depends on the current province of development of China ‘s car industry. To be recalled that, approximately 70 % of the China ‘s auto market is held by Chinese-foreign joint ventures. This may able to blend the Chinese civilization with modernness, capitalist economy and values, in a manner China is still fighting to happen.

U.S.-China automotive trade form and Trade protection

U.S.-China Trade Pattern. As shown in table 2, the U.S. has been sing a trade excess with China in motor vehicles. Theoretically, harmonizing to Ricardian theoretical account, U.S. , which has a comparative advantage in bring forthing technological merchandise compared to China, should be exporting sophisticated merchandise, like car, to China in exchange for labour-intensive merchandises, in which China has a comparative advantage. Then, what may explicate the turning tendency of U.S. importing motor vehicles from China?

Table 2. U.S.-China Automotive Trade, $ 1000000s

While most of the vehicles imported into the United States from China have been mostly limited to trucks and new waves, China does export minority of domestic-produced rider autos to U.S. The rider autos imported from China are chiefly produced by foreign makers instead than local manufacturers. This phenomenon was a consequence of several major foreign car manufacturers, such as MG Rover and Honda, have been utilizing China as a platform for exporting vehicles to other states, by taking advantage of the competitory labour cost and the lifting accomplishment and quality of labour. Furthermore, the favourable entry ordinance to the automotive constituent industry, will be discuss subsequently in this study, have encouraged houses to come in China through FDI and construct installations, to work a greater synergism from perpendicular integrating.

On the other manus, what may explicate the high growing in U.S. motor export to China given a figure of U.S. manufacturers have already gained entree to the Chinese market? Harmonizing to Qiu ( 2005 ) , one account is that the increasing figure of middle-class in China have increased the demand for imported luxury autos, such as Mercedes Benz and BMW, which those trade names are discouraged to bring forth in China due to the weak rational belongings rights and the prejudiced duty on foreign imported car parts that sufficiently hurt the long term competency of the those up-market trade names.

China ‘s Trade Barriers. Despite China has abolished its local content regulations as portion of its WTO Accession Agreement in 2001, there are still assorted signifiers of trade barrier set by China to protect local car manufacturers. Today, China imposes a 25 % import responsibilities on cars to chair the degree of competition from foreign export markets. Another protective step that required more attending is the responsibilities on car parts and constituents. Originally, China has reduced the car parts responsibilities from a high degree to a incorporate rate of 10-14 % as a committedness to the WTO ordinance. However, there is grounds demoing that China implicitly by-pass WTO ordinance and reconstruct favoritism in favour of local content. Manufacturers are non merely required to register their parts, and if more than 60 % of the value of a vehicle is accounted for by imported parts, the maker must pay responsibilities of 25 % on all imported parts in the vehicle ( Tang, 2009 ) . In consequence, the import duty and the car parts responsibilities could efficaciously countervail the cost advantages achieved by foreign giants which would otherwise base on balls on to the clients.

However, the impact of imported parts duty has been weakening over clip. For case, after China re-established the local content regulations, there is a inclination for foreign makers to construct and run its wholly-owned car parts subordinates in China to avoid responsibilities on car parts. In add-on, significant cost efficiency can be induced by incorporating vertically every bit good as to cut down trust on imported auto constituents. Therefore, it is highly of import that foreign concerns possess a strong technological base and assets which could potentially be developed it into a sustainable competitory advantage, or they may face a double disadvantage.

4. U.S. Concerns Over China ‘s Exchange Rate Policy

U.S.-China Exchange Rate Regime. Before July 2005, China adopted a fixed exchange rate with U.S. , nail downing at about 8.28 yuan per dollar. After that, the Chinese cardinal authorities modified its exchange rate system and pegged its currency to a basket of foreign currencies. The alteration induced an grasp of kwai by 2.1 % , from previos 8.28 per dollar to 8.11. The new exchange rate system would let the Chinese currency to be more adjustable and antiphonal to market supply and demand, given kwais would be capped by a ceiling of 0.3 % of fluctuation on a day-to-day footing against the basket. As opposed to the currency basket, U.S. adopted a free drifting exchange rate system, which the exchange rate of RMB to dollar will set consequently to the trade public presentation between the two states.

The undervalued Chinese currency and consequence on US car makers. Despite the Chinese authorities has allowed its currency to appreciate in certain extent, as shown in figure 4, the crisp growing in China ‘s foreign exchange militias and China ‘s immense trade excess over the past few old ages strongly indicates that the Chinese currency is significantly undervalued, by every bit much as 40 % ( Preeg, 2003 ) .

Figure 4. Yuan-Dollar Exchange Rate Before and After the July 2005 Announcement

Beginning: U.S. Federal Reserve

An undervalued kwai has brought both positive and negative impacts to U.S. manufacturers. From a position of a U.S. car exporter, the impact of the undervalued kwai is two-folded. Not merely the U.S. export become more expensive in China, but to those industries which rely on foreign car constituents will endure from a high production cost, compared to other manufacturers which adopt Chinese local parts. Although makers which opt to bring forth in China are somehow immune from the inauspicious consequence, they are posed with another issue. The net income border of those makers, denominated in kwai, is lower than it would otherwise be if the Chinese currency were allowed to appreciate harmonizing to the market force.

On the positive side, the undervalued Chinese currency has contributed to a low planetary monetary value degree. Although China ‘s car market is restricted to the production of lower-end merchandises, such as tyres, wheel hubs and interior stuff, due to its limited R & A ; D capacity, both foreign and local Chinese car manufacturers should profit, straight and indirectly, from a cost advantage induced by the Chinese export parts, as shown in table 2.

In the long tally, we may anticipate China will appreciate its currency to counter the grasp force per unit area, and the sensed benefit of an undervalued kwai would bit by bit extinguish. However, what is more of import is the extent of the grasp of the kwai. The one-off reappraisal is likely to do China exports more expensive and U.S. imports cheaper. However, foreign concerns should be cognizant of the divergence between existent and nominal exchange rates. It is likely that the rising prices in China will be lower than U.S. rising prices, after U.S. attempt to battle the fiscal crisis has raised the apparition of rising prices. As a consequence, it is possible that the existent exchange rates will be somewhat lower than the nominal footings, which partially offset the grasp force per unit area after the reappraisal.

Description of Recommended Strategy and Risk Assessment

Recommendation will be given, based on the analysis undertaken in the old subdivisions, sing whether the house should undergo FDI or exporting in order to come in the Chinese car market.

A Joint venture partnership will be a suited pick if the company extremely regards the advantages of ownership, location and internalisation, as stated in the Eclectic Theory developed by John Dunning ( 2000 ) . However, this lead to another inquiry: How should foreign concerns select their joint venture spouse, given they are all capable to different background and operation graduated table? It is of import to observe that the sensed benefits induced by JV partnership will mostly depend on how good the two companies integrate their managerial and operational patterns. Remember that, to be success in China, it does non merely required a superior engineering degree in both production and car parts, but besides to possess guanxi. Foreign concerns, as fledglings to China ‘s car industry, will be at an tenure disadvantage compared to the bing rivals that have already developed its trade name image and web of relationships. In amount, the best campaigner for partnership should possess the desirable organisational properties, viz. a good web of relationships, superior strategic and fiscal competency every bit good as a good selling and distribution channel, to let the joint venture to rapidly develop in China ‘s car market.

Despite the import duty barrier, exporting car could be an effectual manner to come in the Chinese market. Fortunately, after the accession to the WTO, China has been slightly adheres to its WTO committedness. Besides Chinese authorities allowed its currency to appreciate, duty on imported motors fell from 180 % -220 % in 1992 to presently about 25 % . In this position, the two biggest menaces to U.S. car exporters, viz. the undervalued kwai and the duty barrier, should bit by bit vanish over clip as China liberalized and modernized its car industry.

Consequences of China ‘s Political Hazard

Foreign concerns, which are prosecuting in FDI or exporting to the China ‘s car market, they portion a common hazard. They all are vulnerable to any possible difference in international trade and relationship between the two states. Political revenges, accordingly taking to a terrible duty war, are a byproduct of the difference. For case, Obama disposal has imposed a 35 % duty on auto tyres imported from China is one signifier of protectionist steps. Other than a duty barrier which could buffer the impact by accomplishing significant cost advantage, international issues could bring on regulative alterations that sufficiently change the industry construction. The imperfect regulative system in China ‘s car market, unveiled by the recent Toyota quality parturiency, is yet to be revised to implement stricter regulations to protect consumers. Foreign concern should non merely expect any regulative alterations but, more significantly, to response actively to the impacts bring to the car industry.

Reasoning Remarks

One major concern among U.S. car manufacturers over China ‘s car industry has been linked to the protective steps against foreign imports and FDI. Meanwhile, many economic experts argue that the high protection given to the Chinese domestic manufacturers may harm the long term development of the Chinese car market, as the protective steps will blindly protect those below-efficient houses, undermines the foreign manufacturers, and prevents the most efficient distribution of resources in the car industry.

The Chinese functionaries are to the full cognizant of the concern and stated they plan to farther liberalise the car industry to foreign competition. But, they strongly emphasis that the reformation and consolidation should be in a gradual mode, to avoid any unneeded breaks to the industry. Nevertheless, the following few old ages are important for since the development of the Chinese car industry will bring forth both victors and also-rans in the U.S. every bit good as in China.