DC Studying Chinese Imports to U.S. by TCC Team (4/25/2005)
A real plan — or a warning shot?
Daily Edition: Mar. 30, 2005 by TCC Team (3/29/2005)
GM loses top China exec, Bricklin has 11 dealers.
Malcolm Bricklin continues to push ahead towards his goal of importing Chinese-made cars into the
GM has objected to the use of the Chery name in the
Bricklin said only half in jest that in retaliation he and his Chinese partners are thinking of asking the courts in
Signing up dealers
Meanwhile, Bricklin said he is make steady progress in filling out the plans for Visionary Vehicles, his New York-based company that is promising to bring Chinese made vehicles American consumers.
A total of 25 dealers have already signed on with Visionary to sell the cars from Chery. The progress has been considerable, considering that Visionary's prospectus for dealers wasn't completed until mid-June, which means that dealers have only been able to review the material for few weeks. "Before that there really wasn't any thing for them to see," Bricklin said.
In addition, the requirements for becoming one of Visionary's dealers are substantial, Bricklin noted.
To qualify for a franchise, dealers have to purchase $2 million in Visionary stock and find ten acres for the stand-alone building that will house the dealership, which Bricklin said will make buying a car as much fun as going to an auto show.
The vehicles will come from Chery, which has already brought in Italian designers to help prepare a full line of vehicles for the
Bricklin said that the first cars should be ready for the
Bricklin also says he continues to be impressed by his Chinese partner. Chery,
Most of the dealers that that have committed to build Visionary dealerships already have substantial automotive holdings and operate anywhere from five to 20 different franchises, added Bricklin, who declined to identify any of the dealers that have signed up to sell the vehicles. "People will be surprised when they see the list," he added.
"There are another 200 dealers in the pipeline," added Bricklin, who noted that dealers are facing pressure from other manufacturers not to sign up for the Visionary franchise.
"It's nothing overt because that would create anti-trust problems for them. But it's there," said Bricklin, who is considered an outsider in the automotive business despite his past successes, which have included introducing Subaru to the United States during the 1960s and bringing the Yugo brand to the U.S. 20 years later.
Bricklin also is credited with such innovations as the extended warranty, which he used with Yugo.