Michael Dunne:

In the early 1980s Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping returned from visits to Japan and the US with a vision of China’s economic future. Seeing a connection between big car industries and economic prosperity, Deng laid out a​ strategy for​ transforming China from ​automotive pauper to ​​​automotive ​powerhouse:
 1. Form joint ventures with American, German and Japanese carmakers.
 2. ​Lock in Chinese control over the joint ventures.
 3. Get the know-how to build our own high quality Chinese cars.
 Thirty five years later, that master plan​ has come a long way, but is still incomplete. Yes, China has formed joint ventures with all of the world’s ​top foreign automakers. Yes, Chinese has kept tight control over the joint ventures​​. ​And, yes, Chinese brands already control the commercial bus and truck industry, taking more than 90% of sales. ​
 Up until now, however, Chinese automakers have struggled​ ​to match the quality of cars made by the global majors. ​Foreign models produced in China still account for the majority of car sales​. Drive the streets ​of Shanghai ​and you’ll be ​struck by the number of VWs, Buicks, ​Chevys, ​Hondas, ​Toyotas and Audis.