Asian automobile manufacturing market is much broader than many American consumers understand it to be. In addition to Honda, Hyundai, Toyota, and the names of other household there are quite a few cars are growing in size and respectability in their own markets. Two of these companies have committed to selling their models in the U.S., but there are three other people know about and watch the value.
Starting in 2007, two Chinese automobile manufacturers will be exporting cars to the United States and Canada. Geely Automobile Company and the Chery Automobile Company are part of the first wave of new Asian car preparing to serve the U.S. market. I will not go into further detail about the two manufacturers, so please read the related article I wrote titled, "Car China: Defining Markets," to learn more about them.
Proton - Proton Holdings, the parent company of Proton Motors, is the largest producer of vehicles in Malaysia. Volkswagen and Proton signed a strategic partnership agreement in October 2004 in which Volkswagen will be built on Proton assembly lines began in 2006. Apart from the VW venture, Proton has a line of its own model consisting primarily of subcompact and compact sized vehicles. Proton is currently exported to Australia and companies targeting the U.S. market perhaps as early as 2010. In addition to its VW relationship, Japanese automaker Mitsubishi owns nearly 16% stake in Proton.
Hindustan - Since 1950, Hindustan Motors has built cars for the Indian market. Their current line of the car, looked as if they were built in the 1950s, does not match the current world styling standards. However, the growing Indian economy has provided tremendous growth in all business sectors and the Indian automotive industry is ripe for renewal. Ambassador Grand, one such model, has recently been updated to meet current European emissions standards. Look for Hindustan model will be exported to Europe first before taking on the highly competitive U.S. market.
Tata - Unlike Hindustan Motors, India's Tata Motors is currently producing cars that look as if they were newly designed. As the only Indian car company featuring cars built and designed by India, the company's Indica V2 and Indigo compacts have been well received at the Geneva Auto Show. Plans to export directly to the U.S. have been considered but Tata cars may be the U.S. under another label before it, such as Ford or Dodge.
Outside the five other state companies run automobile manufacturing companies sprung up in communist controlled China. If Geely and Chery succeed, make more will follow and the floodgates will open.