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You Don’t Own a Chinese Car Yet, But You Will


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China already dominates the electric vehicle market globally, and as the U.S. and other Western governments promote EVs, Chinese auto and battery companies will likely come to rule the American market

Automobiles are the number two manufactured good sold around the world, after integrated circuits. For all internationally traded products, only crude and refined petroleum are sold more. But unlike most oil-producing nations, the countries that make their own cars and sell them globally are some of the richest, most developed countries in the world—in order of their automobile export values, they are Germany, the U.S., Japan and South Korea.

Anyone who grew up in the 1980s saw the first arrival of the Hyundai Excel. That was South Korea’s entry into the U.S. automobile market. In the ’90s, it was Kia’s turn. Now the two automakers are as ubiquitous on American roads as a Toyota Corolla or a Ford F-150.

China wants in on the action, and it will get there sooner than you think. China will be the new South Korea of autos in 10 years. In fact, don’t be shocked if a Chinese company buys out an American automaker at some point in the near future. But in the overall auto market, the sector Western governments keep talking about as the future is the electric vehicle (EV). This sector is China’s entry point into the U.S. China has already made inroads here for batteries, and its EVs beat American ones in Europe and all of Latin America.

The U.S. Auto Industry Is Drawn to China


As it is, some automakers already known in the U.S. are majority Chinese-owned. For example, MG is owned by Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC), and Geely Motors owns 78.7% of Volvo as of Nov. 17, 2023:snip:


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