Driving on UK roads over the last 6-12 months I have noticed a number of attractively styled, impressive looking saloons, sports car and 4×4’s. On closer inspection these vehicles proudly display their manufacturers badges:
There can be no doubt that Asian car brands have been experiencing strong growth in the UK, at the expense of more well known, trusted? auto brands. The combination of high specification, improved quality and designs that appeal to European tastes, have made Korean vehicles more attractive to consumers.
However, these companies are not blazing a new trail. Think back to the mid-to-late 1960’s and early 1970’s to conjure names such as the Datsun automobile marque, Nissan and the first Toyota’s on UK roads.
This well trodden strategy of continuous, incremental improvement pioneered by the Japanese is now being brought to bear in the UK, EU and US by progressive, dynamic Asian motor manufacturers.
Just this week Chinese cars also took a step closer to Europe with the granting of European Type Approval to the Landwind X-Pedition. This 4×4 copy of a 20-year old Vauxhall Frontera is the first Chinese car to get full approval in Europe. It will face the New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) crash test early in November (2007), with the first right-hand-drive sales in the UK slated for next September (2008).