The Chinese car company BYD (slogan: Build Your Dreams - odd how it translates into English so well!) has a Corolla-clone plug-in hybrid car here, the theory being that you can acquire electricity at low rates during off-peak hours.
OK, with all the caveats we have about all electric cars and battery engineers.
What's also interesting is their fit and finish. Or lack thereof - the old Hyundai Pony would have had nothing to worry about on this count, and that was in the 1980s.
Thing is - at least in the automobile industry, nobody has really asked the Chinese to build "good"; they've only so far asked them to build "cheap".
But the Chinese build all sorts of electronic and photographic equipment for high-end Japanese brands, and they do an OK job of that.
It's just a matter of time before they figure out car quality, and it will surely take them less time than it did the Japanese or the Koreans, mainly because the Chinese can learn from their neighbours' lessons.
There is no doubt that a lot of Chinese resources are being poured into technological education; they will have the capability to do whatever they want, very soon.
Right now, the Chinese financial system is not in much better shape than any other country's. But there is also the chance that their contribution to the global car industry might be buying one of the struggling domestics - Chrysler would be the obvious choice - not for their products or technology, but for their distribution channels and dealership network.