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Roger Wood, the president and chief executive of Dana Holding Corp., a major American automotive-parts company, is sounding the alarm that the Red Menace has turned the tide in its homeland of China and will soon be producing cars and parts that are close to equal to what foreign companies produce.

“Foreign players in the market will see a lot greater local competition than they have seen in the past,” said Wood. “Chinese auto makers recognize the need to build more-robust vehicles that can satisfy Chinese car buyers’ technological needs.”

Wood says that improving quality is only part of the reason that the average Chin Lee is beginning to want a Chinese vehicle rather than a Ford or BMW; that reason is patriotism. “There’s a shift by consumers from wanting foreign brands to wanting local ones,” Wood said.

Some auto parts manufacturers are ready for the battle. Wood says that Dana, after years of primarily selling to global customers in China, has already begun to sell parts to Chinese automakers, who prefer the parts because they are of higher quality than the parts made by Chinese auto part makers.

The shift, if it continues, could prove to be very troubling to foreign automakers. With China being home to the world’s largest auto market, auto makers depend upon it along with the auto markets in the U.S. and India to save it from the red numbers they are bleeding in Europe.


About the author: Andrew Greene


Now playing the role of grumpy old man in the foothills of Northern California’s Gold Country, Andrew has had a life-long love affair with vehicles of all sorts, from the bicycle he pedaled across the continent in 1991 to the armored personnel carriers he drove in the Army to the bamboo rafts, elephants, motorcycle taxis, ferries and buses he traveled by during the 13 years he lived and worked in South East Asia. Always eager to learn more about how the people of the world get from here to there in their day-today lives, he, a professional journalist, has been covering the vehicle industry for years.


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