The Chinese do have a bit of history with knock-offs. And I’m not just talking imitations of expensive leather handbags and watches, but cars. In fact, companies like BMW has filed lawsuits against some Chinese companies for literally carbon copying some designs. So things do get a bit hairy when discussing the Chinese and the automobile industry.
Either way, the big players are aware and two Michigan US senators are calling for a formal investigation into the trade practices of China in relation to cars like the Chevrolet Volt.
So what does that mean? It means that because China is a hugely growing market for the automobile industry, everyone is going head over heels trying to get a piece of the action. No surprise there, the money to be made is out there. However, the reason why the senators called for some action is due to China’s untrustworthy commercial practices.
They think that the integrity of technologies such as those found in the Chevrolet Volt are at risk and that the Chinese will figure out and exploit the secrets to such technologies. And because auto giants like GM are pushing harder than ever to be a global carmaker with much emphasis on China, the risk is even greater.
“The Chevrolet Volt represents intellectual property developed in the United States and paid for by General Motors research and development dollars,” wrote Michigan Democratic Sen. Carl Levin in a letter to acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank. “The U.S. government must not allow China to coerce American companies to give their technology away to foreign competitors in order to have access to their markets.”
GM has supposedly attempted to deflect these concerns saying that they will work with the Chinese government said GM’s spokesman Greg Martin.
“The Volt plans remain unchanged,” Martin said. “We’ve been doing business in the Chinese market for 15 years, and we want to help cultivate market acceptance for electric vehicles in the country.”
– By: Chris Chin