Three out of every four Chinese built cars have developed at least one defect within the first six months of use, according to a survey conducted by the Chinese Association for Quality. Worse still, for every 100 vehicles sold in the first nine months of the year, there were 338 defects found, up from 246 the previous year. The global industry average for vehicle defects as rated by the influential J.D. Power surveys were found to be 124 defects per 100 vehicles. The main reason for the increase in the number of defects for China, has been the fast paced growth of the industry and intense competition that has forced component suppliers to cut costs in order to reduce their prices.

Complaints from customers are up over 21% from last year, relating mainly to tire failures, poor brakes and air-conditioning systems. The industry is still finding itself, yet this year alone has seen the introduction of 100 new models for China alone. Industry spokesman Fan Tianshun commented that “with smaller periods of investigation, development and tests, the new models will have, by all means, more defects”,

Car prices in China have dropped more than $1,000 on average over the past 12 months and are expected to dip further. According to Tianshun, consumers are more concerned about having a car with as many features as possible rather than having something that’s more basic but built to a better standard. This does not bode well for foreign carmakers who are likely to export cars from China to sell in global markets in the near future. However, the Chinese car industry is very young and will one day catch up with established western manufacturers, just as the Koreans have done and the Japanese before them.