Rolls-Royce and the Year of the Dragon
If you want to figure how important the Chinese market is becoming to manufacturers, know that while there is what’s described as “cooling” in the Chinese car market, so far this year there have been, according to China Daily.com, 10.6-million units sold through July.
If you want to figure how important the Chinese market is becoming to manufacturers, know that while there is what’s described as “cooling” in the Chinese car market, so far this year there have been, according to China Daily.com, 10.6-million units sold through July. According to Autodata, the number for the U.S. is around 7.4-million.
Premium cars are particularly popular in China. Rolls-Royce, for example, reported that for the first half of 2011, its sales were up “over 170 percent” in the Asia Pacific region, and presumably a goodly portion of that number is represented by the demand in the Chinese market.
This is no idle speculation, at least given that the company has announced that it will be offering its “Year of the Dragon” collection, and this is not a tribute to a Mickey Rourke movie by any stretch of the imagination.
As the company explains, “Inspired by the legendary creature that is revered in China, the Year of the Dragon Collection has been created to celebrate the ultimate symbol of power, prosperity and good fortune.”
This personalization includes such things as dragons hand-painted in gold on the side of the Phantoms, as well as dragons in the headrests, door sills, and elsewhere.
Presumably, Rolls-Royce is banking on the good fortune it will realize with this approach in the Chinese market.
The common wisdom seems to be that midsize cars have pretty much had it in the U.S. new car market.
Although the common wisdom has it that crossovers and SUVs have limitless growth opportunities, maybe the folks at Chevrolet have discerned something that indicates that there’s still something called economic gravity.
As OEMs and suppliers seek lightweight solutions to meet higher fuel economy standards through multi-material structures, conventional welding techniques are beginning to give way to new solid-state joining methods better suited for creating strong bonds between dissimilar metals.