Electric Vehicles no image

Published on March 31st, 2009 | by Jerry James Stone

51

Chinese Electric Cars Coming To Costco, Wal-Mart

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While seeing Chinese cars on display at the Detroit Auto Show has become somewhat common these past few years, there is one place they were hardly expected: Costco!

Yes, the big-box discount store Costco could be selling the Chinese-designed and Mexican-built vehicles says one auto exec. The CEO of GS Motors — Kathleen Ligocki — told the Hybrid Cars website that she thinks the US will follow in Mexico’s footsteps. GS Motors sold 4,000 China-made vehicles in Mexico last year at…Costco and Wal-Mart.

My first thought: If they are sold at Costco, will they come individually wrapped and in a pack of ten?

Auto critics have ridiculed the cars for both design and quality flaws. But hey, Japanese and Korean cars once received the same treatment. And I think it’s safe to say that Honda and Toyota got their footing.

Ligocki, who previously served as president of Ford of Mexico, said the next step is for Chinese-designed cars to go into production in Mexico in 2010. She expects them to hit the American market about five years later. Hybrid Cars reported that GS is building an assembly plant in Michoacan, Mexico, with the China-based FAW Group who has formed joint ventures with automobile giants such as Volkswagen, Toyota and Mazda.

GS Motors will launch the FAW brand in Mexico this year with the F1 Hatchback, an entry-level car sold for under $5,500. FAW, one of the largest Chinese automakers, is allied in China with Volkswagen.


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About the Author

is a web developer, part-time blogger, and a full-time environmentalist. His crusade for all things eco started twenty years ago when he ditched his meat-and-potatoes upbringing for something more vegetarian-shaped. His passions include cooking, green tech, eco politics, and smart green design. And while he doesn't own a car anymore, he loves to write about those too. Jerry studied at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA. During his time there he was a DJ at the campus station KCPR and he also wrote for the campus paper. Jerry currently resides in San Francisco, CA with his cat Lola. You can stalk him on Twitter @jerryjamesstone.



  • Hector

    In Mexico, FAW cars are not being sold in Costco nor Wal-Mart… They are being sold at “Elektra” and they start at $6,297 USD.

  • Hector

    In Mexico, FAW cars are not being sold in Costco nor Wal-Mart… They are being sold at “Elektra” and they start at $6,297 USD.

  • Graham

    Buy n’ Large!!!

  • Graham

    Buy n’ Large!!!

  • Graham

    Buy n’ Large!!!

  • http://nortonrelease.com Alex

    I would consider such a car if it were sold at Wal-Mart. Hand me an extended warrenty and I’m good.

  • http://nortonrelease.com Alex

    I would consider such a car if it were sold at Wal-Mart. Hand me an extended warrenty and I’m good.

  • Gyula Bognar

    Too little too late, Obama and the office of people who know better than you, have the solution!

    From today, GM means Government Motors. Obama said, we must build and use only the next generation of efficient and environmentally friendly (GM) cars. The US Government will also honor warranties of old clunkers made by the old GM & Chrysler. After tax filing time, the IRS offices will repair transmissions and drive trains, free of charge. I am completely elated, no more car magazines to read, I just go to the nearest Government office and buy the new car. It will come in one model and one color, green of course.

  • Gyula Bognar

    Too little too late, Obama and the office of people who know better than you, have the solution!

    From today, GM means Government Motors. Obama said, we must build and use only the next generation of efficient and environmentally friendly (GM) cars. The US Government will also honor warranties of old clunkers made by the old GM & Chrysler. After tax filing time, the IRS offices will repair transmissions and drive trains, free of charge. I am completely elated, no more car magazines to read, I just go to the nearest Government office and buy the new car. It will come in one model and one color, green of course.

  • Gyula Bognar

    Too little too late, Obama and the office of people who know better than you, have the solution!

    From today, GM means Government Motors. Obama said, we must build and use only the next generation of efficient and environmentally friendly (GM) cars. The US Government will also honor warranties of old clunkers made by the old GM & Chrysler. After tax filing time, the IRS offices will repair transmissions and drive trains, free of charge. I am completely elated, no more car magazines to read, I just go to the nearest Government office and buy the new car. It will come in one model and one color, green of course.

  • http://barelllinks.com Erik

    Awesome!

  • http://barelllinks.com Erik

    Awesome!

  • http://barelllinks.com Erik

    Awesome!

  • http://www.solar-labs.com Joel Fairstein

    This story is riddled with inaccuracies and bad conjecture. Even the headline is a false statement as we discover later in the article with, “Yes, the big-box discount store Costco could be selling the Chinese-designed and Mexican-built vehicles says one auto exec.”

    There’s no description attached to the car photo or any features described.

    This is the worst reporting I have ever witnessed.

  • http://www.solar-labs.com Joel Fairstein

    This story is riddled with inaccuracies and bad conjecture. Even the headline is a false statement as we discover later in the article with, “Yes, the big-box discount store Costco could be selling the Chinese-designed and Mexican-built vehicles says one auto exec.”

    There’s no description attached to the car photo or any features described.

    This is the worst reporting I have ever witnessed.

  • http://www.tiretyre.com Evie

    great idea!

  • http://www.tiretyre.com Evie

    great idea!

  • Uncle B

    The loss of GM and Chrysler will cause a gut-busting reality check on the American Dream, and reduce pay envelop expectations for all – even the mighty doctor and lawyer class! They, of course, will still drive huge dangerous gas guzzlers from Europe, while we – “The Proletariat” will be reduced to battery/gas eco-boxes and the buses and low wage part-time service industry jobs, complete with edge of town shanties, veggie patches and weekends of scavenging the dumps and ruins of cities for life’s necessities. Bush set the trap, Obama pushes us in and the uber-rich invested in the Shanghai markets car manufacturers long ago after selling their shares of GM at over $60.00 a share to the unsuspecting in the marketplace. Are the Chinese cars as crappy? Do they use planned obsolescence as a sales tool? Will there be constant “improvements” to keep us coming? Is this the same song and dance, with wider profit margins due to lower wages in manufacture, or do we get a better product? I doubt it. The same old fraudsters and shysters and shylocks are the primary financial backers, with the same goals – filling their pockets! Bend over, Yankee Doodle, and bring your own grease, that’s right, spread your cheeks now, for a new “Chinese” adventure!

  • Uncle B

    The loss of GM and Chrysler will cause a gut-busting reality check on the American Dream, and reduce pay envelop expectations for all – even the mighty doctor and lawyer class! They, of course, will still drive huge dangerous gas guzzlers from Europe, while we – “The Proletariat” will be reduced to battery/gas eco-boxes and the buses and low wage part-time service industry jobs, complete with edge of town shanties, veggie patches and weekends of scavenging the dumps and ruins of cities for life’s necessities. Bush set the trap, Obama pushes us in and the uber-rich invested in the Shanghai markets car manufacturers long ago after selling their shares of GM at over $60.00 a share to the unsuspecting in the marketplace. Are the Chinese cars as crappy? Do they use planned obsolescence as a sales tool? Will there be constant “improvements” to keep us coming? Is this the same song and dance, with wider profit margins due to lower wages in manufacture, or do we get a better product? I doubt it. The same old fraudsters and shysters and shylocks are the primary financial backers, with the same goals – filling their pockets! Bend over, Yankee Doodle, and bring your own grease, that’s right, spread your cheeks now, for a new “Chinese” adventure!

  • ChuckL

    Why the surprise at the marketing through Costco and Walmart?

    Have you not looked for the manufacturer of the products that they now sell?

    What surprises me is that they missed out on TARGET.

  • ChuckL

    Why the surprise at the marketing through Costco and Walmart?

    Have you not looked for the manufacturer of the products that they now sell?

    What surprises me is that they missed out on TARGET.

  • ChuckL

    Why the surprise at the marketing through Costco and Walmart?

    Have you not looked for the manufacturer of the products that they now sell?

    What surprises me is that they missed out on TARGET.

  • required

    see the cars and prices in mexican currency at http://www.elektra-transportes.com/

  • required

    see the cars and prices in mexican currency at http://www.elektra-transportes.com/

  • required

    see the cars and prices in mexican currency at http://www.elektra-transportes.com/

  • http://www.makecalendar.org/ Allie

    Can’t say I would be one to buy a vehicle from a…Walmart or Costco.

  • http://www.makecalendar.org/ Allie

    Can’t say I would be one to buy a vehicle from a…Walmart or Costco.

  • Tuyen

    Honestly, to anyone who actually buys ones of these cars and drives them on the roads — you deserve everything that’s coming your way.

  • Tuyen

    Honestly, to anyone who actually buys ones of these cars and drives them on the roads — you deserve everything that’s coming your way.

  • Tuyen

    Honestly, to anyone who actually buys ones of these cars and drives them on the roads — you deserve everything that’s coming your way.

  • http://www.k9ring.com Daniel

    This must be an April Fools’ joke! Or maybe this is why Wal-Mart built so many humongous stores so that they can accommodate a car showroom in each store. Maybe they’ll start selling small planes pretty soon.

  • http://www.k9ring.com Daniel

    This must be an April Fools’ joke! Or maybe this is why Wal-Mart built so many humongous stores so that they can accommodate a car showroom in each store. Maybe they’ll start selling small planes pretty soon.

  • http://www.k9ring.com Daniel

    This must be an April Fools’ joke! Or maybe this is why Wal-Mart built so many humongous stores so that they can accommodate a car showroom in each store. Maybe they’ll start selling small planes pretty soon.

  • jill

    Here is something to thick about.mysef I drive a smart car Diesel Rated at about 72mpg made by mercedez benz and is a great little car.had it since 2005and have 42000miles on it.This is the last year that we in canada will be able to buy this car in its diesel format. Since AMerica will be importing the smart car in 2009 and they insist on a gasoline engine that only gets 50mpg.. Mercedez will only send gas powered to North American after 2009.NOT FAIR MIGHT AS WELL JUST BUY A TOYOTA IF IM ONLY GETTING 50 MPG SINCE IT HAS MORE ROOM..where do these policies come from no wonder we are in the bind were in

  • jill

    Here is something to thick about.mysef I drive a smart car Diesel Rated at about 72mpg made by mercedez benz and is a great little car.had it since 2005and have 42000miles on it.This is the last year that we in canada will be able to buy this car in its diesel format. Since AMerica will be importing the smart car in 2009 and they insist on a gasoline engine that only gets 50mpg.. Mercedez will only send gas powered to North American after 2009.NOT FAIR MIGHT AS WELL JUST BUY A TOYOTA IF IM ONLY GETTING 50 MPG SINCE IT HAS MORE ROOM..where do these policies come from no wonder we are in the bind were in

  • http://nextgendriver.com Next Generation Driver

    Both Costco and Wal-Mart are the perfect venues to debut these vehicles. Everyone knows that these companies don’t have the capital or amount of business to justify building dealerships exclusively for their cars.

    Selling them at Costco and Wal-Mart allows the manufacturer keep their costs down while giving the retailers a unique product to sell, especially at the price point.

    Worst come to worst – Whats the harm? The US auto industry is ailing and a cheap electric car could be a shove in the right direction to show Detroit what they should be focusing on instead of rehashing the same depressing sedan year after year.

  • http://nextgendriver.com Next Generation Driver

    Both Costco and Wal-Mart are the perfect venues to debut these vehicles. Everyone knows that these companies don’t have the capital or amount of business to justify building dealerships exclusively for their cars.

    Selling them at Costco and Wal-Mart allows the manufacturer keep their costs down while giving the retailers a unique product to sell, especially at the price point.

    Worst come to worst – Whats the harm? The US auto industry is ailing and a cheap electric car could be a shove in the right direction to show Detroit what they should be focusing on instead of rehashing the same depressing sedan year after year.

  • http://nextgendriver.com Next Generation Driver

    Both Costco and Wal-Mart are the perfect venues to debut these vehicles. Everyone knows that these companies don’t have the capital or amount of business to justify building dealerships exclusively for their cars.

    Selling them at Costco and Wal-Mart allows the manufacturer keep their costs down while giving the retailers a unique product to sell, especially at the price point.

    Worst come to worst – Whats the harm? The US auto industry is ailing and a cheap electric car could be a shove in the right direction to show Detroit what they should be focusing on instead of rehashing the same depressing sedan year after year.

  • bryan

    Once again, we the people are being lied to. The technology to build a self-charging automobile is about as simple as lacing shoe strings. LOOK at how many moveing parts are contained in an auto. Drivetrain, axles. All could be turned into generators that provide power directly to an engine or battery pack. Its simple and its safe and obvioulsy green. Plug-in automobiles are just another joke on the people. Research this for yourself. Not only is the tech out there it has been for a long time. Check it out!

  • bryan

    Once again, we the people are being lied to. The technology to build a self-charging automobile is about as simple as lacing shoe strings. LOOK at how many moveing parts are contained in an auto. Drivetrain, axles. All could be turned into generators that provide power directly to an engine or battery pack. Its simple and its safe and obvioulsy green. Plug-in automobiles are just another joke on the people. Research this for yourself. Not only is the tech out there it has been for a long time. Check it out!

  • bryan

    Once again, we the people are being lied to. The technology to build a self-charging automobile is about as simple as lacing shoe strings. LOOK at how many moveing parts are contained in an auto. Drivetrain, axles. All could be turned into generators that provide power directly to an engine or battery pack. Its simple and its safe and obvioulsy green. Plug-in automobiles are just another joke on the people. Research this for yourself. Not only is the tech out there it has been for a long time. Check it out!

  • Stephen H Easton

    As a contract automotive engineering consultant and technologies subject matter expert, I welcome the onset of a new age of all electric vehicles. Some commentators in this forum claim that this technology existed for a long time. While this misleading statement is partially correct, viable vehicle electric drive systems in an affordable palatable platform configuration with adequate consumer appeal to sell in North America, are not available, nor have they been withheld from consumers.

    Chinese products have some huge drawbacks. With abysmal build quality, woefully insufficient range, DOT required safety standards failures, and ergonomically poor interior design, most North Americans will likely reject Chinese cars. They are simply not ready either.

    The few cars like Tesla or Lightning that do appeal to Americans, even under current negative market conditions, are thus far prohibitively expensive. This is because the technologies used are uniquely cutting edge. Realistic distribution infrastructure for recharging during prolonged driving does not yet exist. Before that can happen, proven efficient lighter smaller battery technology standards at am adequate uniform voltage need national adoption and approval. Of course, there is no problem if everyone would just take short trips without their GPS, surround sound, ac, heat, lights, power windows, locks, mirrors (get the picture).

    Lastly, about half the states vehicle dealer laws prohibit big box retailers like Wal-Mart or Costco from selling vehicles for operating on public roadways. Licensing and registration requirements, not to mention service, warranty, smog, safety, and consumer disclosure rights and laws governing that protection make self propelled vehicle sales for public use impossibly difficult for big box retailers.

    There is no question that electric vehicles are coming. Not yet… but soon. There is not and never was a conspiracy to keep them from the public. There have been prior attempts to market them in the past, but because of significant design deficiencies, the public resoundingly rejected them. For now, be patient and keep up the pressure.

  • Stephen H Easton

    As a contract automotive engineering consultant and technologies subject matter expert, I welcome the onset of a new age of all electric vehicles. Some commentators in this forum claim that this technology existed for a long time. While this misleading statement is partially correct, viable vehicle electric drive systems in an affordable palatable platform configuration with adequate consumer appeal to sell in North America, are not available, nor have they been withheld from consumers.

    Chinese products have some huge drawbacks. With abysmal build quality, woefully insufficient range, DOT required safety standards failures, and ergonomically poor interior design, most North Americans will likely reject Chinese cars. They are simply not ready either.

    The few cars like Tesla or Lightning that do appeal to Americans, even under current negative market conditions, are thus far prohibitively expensive. This is because the technologies used are uniquely cutting edge. Realistic distribution infrastructure for recharging during prolonged driving does not yet exist. Before that can happen, proven efficient lighter smaller battery technology standards at am adequate uniform voltage need national adoption and approval. Of course, there is no problem if everyone would just take short trips without their GPS, surround sound, ac, heat, lights, power windows, locks, mirrors (get the picture).

    Lastly, about half the states vehicle dealer laws prohibit big box retailers like Wal-Mart or Costco from selling vehicles for operating on public roadways. Licensing and registration requirements, not to mention service, warranty, smog, safety, and consumer disclosure rights and laws governing that protection make self propelled vehicle sales for public use impossibly difficult for big box retailers.

    There is no question that electric vehicles are coming. Not yet… but soon. There is not and never was a conspiracy to keep them from the public. There have been prior attempts to market them in the past, but because of significant design deficiencies, the public resoundingly rejected them. For now, be patient and keep up the pressure.

  • Ed

    wow, this is so ridiculous. I don’t want to see fake made up crap like this, give us some real news.

  • Ed

    wow, this is so ridiculous. I don’t want to see fake made up crap like this, give us some real news.

  • Ed

    wow, this is so ridiculous. I don’t want to see fake made up crap like this, give us some real news.

  • irvin

    GM and chrysler suck

  • irvin

    GM and chrysler suck

  • irvin

    GM and chrysler suck

  • http://Web zoltan ugray

    Where can I buy this ?

    Allow this in Europe?

    I use my Hungary!

    Zoli

  • John

    We are planing a worldwide network of dealerships with EV recharging rest areas. Please see our new website at http://advanced-how-to.info.
    We are looking for a manufacture to supply electric cars according to
    our design, and made to cream the competion globally. Please see how we
    intend to do it. And see if you would like to be that manufacturerm of
    the Green Monkey

    Dr. Hait

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