China Drive

Had a chance to drive over to the Shenandoah Valley this weekend to visit with the Artley’s.  Before the short drive I managed to get the New Hotness cleaned up.  She had been sitting in the parking lot while on our trip and somehow got covered in a film of Ick.  That was on top of several round trips from St. Louis to the East coast dating back before December.  So yes, she was neglected but got a special massage at Car Pool.

She treated me well afterward.  Oh how I had forgotten what the open road, a clean car, new tires, and how her 400-watt stereo sounded… I love you too Hotness.

Which reminded me of the cars in China.  I was astounded at how much different the American makes look there and how many other models the American makers put out.  Remember the Ford Mondeo made famous by James Bond?  It’s there.  Lots of them.  Not here in the US though.  I took some pictures of another strange Ford outside the hotel.  Kind of looks like an old Taurus.  But I have no idea.

a china ford 2

a china ford

The big American model is the Buick Regal, or anything Buick.  Yep, a shocker.  Below is a shot of  Regal.  There were tons of Park Avenue’s too.

china-regal

Volkswagen is big there too.  99% of the taxis were Volkswagen Santanas.  This is kind of like the boxy Fox sedan released in the States many years ago.  They don’t make good cabs for passengers.  I guess the cab companies must like them though.

Oh and the Toyota Camry?  Yep, she’s pretty hot in China.  I missed an opportunity to swipe a picture of one, however did manage to find a good posting on a Toyota fan site.  The car looked more muscular and sporty there.  The front and rear being altered somewhat from its American cousin.  It was more luxurious looking inside as well from what I could see.  And there certainly were a lot of them in Shanghai, particularly in nicer areas of town.

They say there are over 30 manufacturers of cars in China.  The above makes are the ones I remember the most.  Chevrolet, Audi, and BMW all had a significant presence too.  The European models looked very similar in appearance to the models here in the States.

With 20M+ people in Shanghai, cars were on every road.  Most people were on foot however.  The subway was jammed.  Scooters and bicycles were everywhere as well.  And with the majority of Chinese near the poverty level but growing in income, it certainly looks as though there may be room for that many makes of automobile.  The real question would be “where would they go?”

There simply isn’t enough pavement.  The roads in the city had a tiered structure.  That is, there are elevated roads, highways, and major interstates that ring the city, on top of the city.  Just imagine if you have ever been in Atlanta.  You would elevate I-75/85 so inner roads and buildings could use the space under.  Instead of one “perimeter” interstate (I-285), there would be three.  With the road system Atlanta would have an intricate subway system maxed to capacity, about four times the city buses, and a couple hundred-thousand scooters and bicycles.  That’s Shanghai traffic.

As I mentioned above… glad to be back in the good ole U. S. of A.  Our open roads and Interstate system are taken for granted.  I for one was appreciating them this weekend!

More China recap to come…

1 thought on “China Drive”

  1. I love the cars the global automakers come up with for China. The cars GM and Ford have in China now would save their butts here in the US. Fortunately, some should be heading our way in the next few years.

    On the other hand I hate the domestic Chinese cars which are mostly cheap rip offs of other cars.

    The white car you photographed is the 2001-2006 Ford Mondeo. Ford sold it almost everywhere but here. If they sold it in the US I’d probably be driving one now.

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