BENNY LEUNG -Toronto AutoShow

From Benny Leung to Cristoph De Caermichael 

  1. What is the investment $ that the Chinese Canadian market is bringing to the Autoshow and to the car market. a guesstimate will do.?  BENNY LEUNG: To the AutoShow roughly $1MM+. To the car market in Canada— that’s impossible to say, however, there are 1.2 MM Chinese in Canada and many own cars, especially in the luxury segment.
    1. Toronto according to Stephen Harper is going to a Yuan hub. Does Benny think that now is China’s chance to plunge into the Ontario market with Chinese car imports?  
    1. This is a very good time for the Chinese to get into the Ontario market and the Canadian market as a whole. This is also the reason why we invited the new Consul General Xue Bing to officiate the eye dotting ceremony to mark the Year of the Sheep at the 2015 AutoShow this year. We definitely welcome Chinese car makers.
    2. Why is china so late in getting into the Canadian Car Markets. Korea and Japan have been here for a while but china is MIA?  
    1. It’s not that China has been MIA. In my discussion with various officials and counterparts in China, the feedback I get is that China is such a large domestic market and has been focusing on lesser quality, inexpensive cars and light trucks to get to their own people first. They will openly admit that many of their vehicles would never meet North American and Western European standards. Now that their domestic market is mobile with cars, and they’re increasingly demanding better quality, I think we will see Chinese cars getting better and better. Soon, they will be able to enter into the Canadian market. We have to remember that Korea and Japan had huge industrial advantages over China historically and even they were not the greatest when they first exported. Remember the early Datsun’s?
    2. GM has made inroads into Korea and has taken over Korean cars is that a way for china to get into the world market/
    1.  With all the recent acquisitions of western companies, in all sectors, by large Chinese corporations, nothing would surprise me.
    2. China owns Volvo and situation like Volvo can easily take place in Ontario. Your thoughts on this ?
  1.  It could take place here in Ontario. Take overs of this nature are very complex and the reasons behind them are sometimes warranted and sometimes not. In the Volvo case, this influx of cash could help U.S. sales. But when I think of “Chinese car manufacturers”, I’m thinking of new Chinese brands that show innovation and a cultural history much like some of the greatest European and American brands.

Chinese carmaker Zhejiang Geely which bought the company from Ford in 2010, is investing $11 billion to put some Swedish sensibility back into Volvo. The money will pay for three new factories in China (two have already opened), a U.S. marketing campaign, and an SUV designed with North America in mind. “We have neglected the U.S. market for a period of 10 years. Now we are really saying, ‘That’s enough,’ ” Visser says.


Cristoph De Caermichael 


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