Nanjing Auto has taken over MG and will eventually build cars again in the UK while other Chinese companies are looking to launch their own cars on the market in the near future – but don’t expect an invasion.
That’s the view of industry watcher Max Warburton, head of automotive research at UBS Investment Bank in London.
“We may see some of the Chinese brands launching in the UK and Europe but I don’t see any threat to the established industry,” he said.
“The Chinese companies have no unique selling point unlike the Japanese and the South Koreans when they started selling their cars many years ago.
“They came on the market initially with a ‘pile ‘em high, sell ‘em cheap’ philosophy and then raised the game in terms of quality and manufacturing processes. So much so that the rest of the world has followed.”
Warburton added: “The Chinese companies will not be able to offer any competitive advantages in terms of technology, safety, fuel consumption or emissions.
“Even on price they will be competing with a very high quality used car market. I think people in Europe are more likely to buy a Chinese-built Honda or a Chinese-built Volkswagen than they will a Chinese brand.
“I can’t see them making any headway in our markets for at least the next 10 years.”