No Chinese cars will be sold in the US until after 2012, when they have overcome quality problems and met safety and emissions requirements.

This was the view of Global Insight’s North American automotive research director, George Magliano, speaking at the NADA convention in San Francisco.

JD Power analyst Tim Dunne, on the other hand, was much less committed. He said that everyone wants to know when Chinese cars will go on sale but no-one can be sure.

CHAMCO (China America Cooperative Automotive) had a booth at the convention and said its cars would go on sale in 2009.

According to the NADA website, it displayed a pickup and a sport-utility, each seating five passengers, and with a 2.7-litre engine. A crossover and sedan are coming a year later, chairman Bill Pollack said at a press conference.

CHAMCO is reportedly requiring a dealer investment of $US350,000 and expects to launch its first products with 150 dealers. 78 dealers have committed so far.