Next year’s Yugo is set to be the Chinese-made Geely 7151 CK—pronounced “JEE-lee,” as in “fra-gi-le.” The mid-sized sedan will be hitting our shores for around $10,000, making it by far the cheapest car in its class. But can you, in good conscience, purchase it?
Geely’s average cost for workers in China is $3.50 an hour. That compares with hourly labor costs of $73.73 for GM.
Considering the quality of cars coming out of GM over the last ten years, we think you most certainly can. Japanese and Korean cars started out as bargain-basement alternatives to Detroit steel, and even at current prices, tend to offer a much better car for the money. If the Geely ends up being a quality product, we welcome the destruction of one of America’s primary exports.
Are we bastards? Should we be lamenting the poor working conditions of Geely’s employees? Or is it okay for foreign manufacturers to pay less than their American counterparts as long as the product they sell is quality?