China Bans Renault Imports

By Brendan Moore

06.11.2009

In a surprising move, China’s quality inspection agency has banned all Renault imports into China, citing unexplained “serious safety risks” and failure to meet technical standards. The models banned have all passed Europe’s stringent emission standards as well as getting the

2008-renault-laguna

highest score possible in the crash tests conducted by the independent European crash test agency EuroNCAP.

Renault executives said they were “surprised” by the decision from the General Administration of Quality Supervision Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) in China. One can imagine that is a considerable understatement.

The Renault models, all built in Western production plants, are:

Laguna

Scenic

Megane

Megane Coupe-Cabriolet

The statement from AQSIQ said, “In recent import inspections, we have repeatedly found batches of passenger vehicles made by the French Renault … do not conform with our country’s mandatory standards and relevant technical regulations, and there are serious safety risks.”

No, really. It actually happened yesterday.

This, from a country that has had some of its domestically-built cars fail spectacularly in the European crash test. The same test, in fact, that the Renaults passed with the best score possible. I would link to that Chinese car crash test video except that you can’t see the video on YouTube anymore. It was removed under legal pressure, but, take my word for it – it was ugly, horrific, etc.

There is considerable speculation as to the actual reason this happened; everything from Paris’ granting of honorary citizenship to the Dalai Lama, the Chinese government’s political rival, a desire to show Renault who is calling the shots in China, as Renault sells only around 900 vehicles a year in China, but wants to expand in the world’s largest car market, or, something else that only the Chinese government knows about.

Since AQSIQ won’t say what the problems are with the Renaults, you can confidently bet that the whole issue will go away quickly as soon as China’s displeasure with France or Renault subsides.

It is apparent that China feels that possession of what is now the world’s largest car market gives them carte blanche, so it seems that the auto companies, like other huge multinational companies in other industries before them, will now have to do whatever it takes to stay in the market. Public excoriations included.

COPYRIGHT Autosavant – All Rights Reserved

Author: Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting , a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area. He also manages Autosavant Consulting, a separate practice within Cedar Point Consulting. where he advises businesses connected to the auto industry. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at http://www.cedarpointconsulting.com.

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11 Comments

  1. Wow, unexplained failure of cars that are regarded by third parties to be very safe…indeed, this sounds extremely political. For such an opaque leadership, it’s not hard to see the party’s true colors.

  2. The Dalaï Lama recently visited Paris and was made honorary citizen of that city. Voilà!

  3. I follow Renault and the only transmission recall I know of is the one a couple of years ago that involved less than a thousand cars and was not dangerous, just annoying.

    But none of those cars went to China. Renault said this morning in Paris some of the cars shipped to China this time sustained some damage in transit, but Renault is going to repair those cars if possible before they go on sale, or, junk those cars if the damage is severe.

    I’m sure we won’t ever know the truth as it will get smoothed over so that everyone can save face.

  4. Correction: the Dalai Lama was not granted honorary French citizenship from the French central government, but rather, was granted honorary Parisian citizenship by the city of Paris.

    My apologies for the error and the text in the post has now ben corrected.

  5. It is retaliation and nothing less, nothing more. Very tipical of China

  6. I think it’ very clear what China is doing, and that these accusations are just a cover.

  7. The way China or more precisely the Chinese gouvernment act, the more we begin to see behind the mask. Maybe the Franco-Belgian novelist Henri Vernes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_Vernes might be on something when he nicknamed the nemesis of his character on Bob Morane, a character from his novels, “L’Ombre jaune” (approximate translation: “the Yellow shawdow”)

  8. So what if they got their feelings hurt.

  9. Can this be any funnier? Those wacky Chinese!

  10. I agree, this is hilarious. The Chinese think they’re showing everyone how tough they are, but everyone is just laughing at them.

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