Should I buy a car in Beijing?
Ever since I rented the SUV a few weeks ago, I have really wanted to buy a car. A few things are causing me to be a bit cautious, though. For one, I don’t exactly have enough money. Small detail. Another point, one that, if ignored, could cause some serious road rage - if you didn’t know, the traffic situation in Beijing is.. well.. bad. A million pigs dropped off in the middle of the city couldn’t improve the traffic situation. Any way… What kind of car. My parents want me to get a [Chevrolet Spark](www.chevrolet-spark.com/). Um no. Yes, I know it is being built at the factory my dad will be working at (oh, I didn’t post about this, my parents have moved to China, I’ll post about that at some point in the next few years), but, no. The spark, actually, has been copied by a Chinese car company. This gets interesting, so read on. You see, [GM](http://www.gm.com), the owner of the [Chevrolet](http://www.chevrolet.com) brand, also owns [Daewoo](http://www.gmdat.com/eng/), a Korean car company GM bought a few years ago. GM-Daewoo makes a car called the [Matiz](http://www.gmdat.com/eng/products/products01.jsp). Like most Automotive companies that own many many subsidiaries around the world, GM shares cars between brands and location. For example, the Chevrolet Spark (mentioned above), is a Chinese built copy of the Daewoo Matiz. That’s fine. Now, along comes a little Chinese car company called [Chery](http://www.cheryglobal.com/). Note, if you don’t know already, the Chinese are good at copying. Any way, Chery, a relatively small-sized automobile company here in China. Now, Chery builds a small car called the [Chery QQ](http://www.cheryglobal.com/qq.htm). Have a look at the pictures of the QQ and of the Spark/Matiz. Similar, eh? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
The Chery QQ
The Chevrolet Spark
Note: I “copied” the QQ picture from Chery’s Website. I don’t think they will mind…. Chery is largely owned by the government of the city of Wuhan. That’s not important. What is important is, it is also invested in [SAIC](http://www.saicgroup.com) (Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation. SAIC happens to be the largest automotive company in China. SAIC is also GM’s joint venture partner here in China. The JV, [Shanghai GM](http://www.shanghaigm.com) is 50% owned by SAIC and 50% owned by GM. Interesting, huh? A coincidence? Nah, I don’t think so. Now, let’s see… 2 + 2 = 4? Yep. There, I did the math. A copy with militious intent? Oh yes. As a result, GM is suing (and has been for quite some time) Chery, but, this is China. So… Math is difficult to do here. Any way, so, right. Buying a car. I am thinking about the [Buick HRV](http://hrv.buick.com.cn/), which is a re-branded [Daewoo Lacetti](http://www.gmdat.com/eng/products/products03.jsp) (hatchback version). We’ll see…