Invisible Chinese Cars

Los Angeles, near the Staples Center. A Chinese automotive manufacturer has opened a showroom for its electric car. The showroom is empty, except for a few displays which are verboten to photograph. Look, but do not click. The woman manning the reception portal is polite and somewhat bemused by my arrival. Behind her and to the right, a young man leans against a counter, absorbed in a magazine. “I noticed your sign from the freeway (I-10) and came in to see your showroom. I know Uber is leasing your cars for its drivers in Chicago, and I was wondering how soon you will be importing electric cars for consumer purchase.” Her pleasant reply confirmed what I had previously understood. “Fleet sales only.” It will be five years before consumers can purchase.


The Chinese invasion is coming, very quietly, with no photographs allowed. Opening a showroom and leaving it empty displays patience and a long-term plan. Electric cars for the 99% will be here – one day.


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