A new plastic car door is the latest example of a Chinese innovation that could eventually make plastic as ubiquitous as paper, and in some cases cheaper.
China is building a million new doors a day, a trend that’s already seen the number of new doors for sale rise to more than 1 million in just a few years, the company behind the doors told Bloomberg in an interview.
That means plastic doors could be on the way out in the next five to 10 years, as the Chinese government moves to make the plastic a part of everyday life.
China’s plastic car doors, pictured here at a Shanghai showroom, were invented by a Chinese company, Zhejiang Plastic Door Company, and have become a trend in the last decade.
The new door could be the next step for China as it pushes to make plastic ubiquitous as a part for everyday life, said Zhejiu Zhu, a professor at Shanghai’s Wuhan Institute of Technology.
Zhu, who researches the rise of consumer electronics in China, said that when Chinese consumers go shopping, they are not looking for something that will last forever, but for something to last a long time.
The plastic car is a new idea in China that could be an answer to this challenge, Zhu said.
In the last few years there has been a trend of building more and more doorways in the country, Zhu added.
China has already seen a shift from plastic to metal doorways, Zhu noted, and the car door has been one of the most popular options for this transition.
The plastic car has a door opening of about 30 centimeters (11 inches) and has a metal frame that is more than 100 centimeters (300 inches) thick, and has an average opening that Zhu said is at least 60 centimeters (32 inches).
“That door opening is actually quite different from the metal door, in that it’s actually made from plastic,” Zhu said, referring to the metal panels that make up the door.
The car door, on the other hand, is made of plastic.
The Chinese car industry has been struggling for years to compete with the more expensive, more modern car doors made by companies like Lexus and BMW.
But Zhu believes the Chinese market is ready for a new car door.
The company says that it has seen a huge rise in the demand for the car doors after it debuted a new model in November.
Zhaoyong, the country’s largest car manufacturer, said it saw a huge spike in demand for its new car doors in the first quarter of 2017, the first time it has ever seen such a big spike in sales in a quarter.
Zhaoying said it has now sold a record 6.2 million doors in five months, and expects the same in the second quarter.
It expects to add another 1.6 million doors this year.
Zhejiub Zhu, an assistant professor at Wuhans Wuhanyuan Institute of Science, said the rise in demand is not limited to the car industry.
He said the new plastic doors are a major part of the new Chinese lifestyle, especially in the cities where people live in apartments and use the streets.
Zhao Jingliang, head of the Chinese Institute of Information Technology and Communications at Wuxi University, said he believes the rise is related to the growing popularity of online shopping and more popular television shows like The Voice, which have introduced a new trend in China in recent years.
“There’s a lot of social media that’s been used to promote the plastic car,” Zhao said.
“The popularity of this trend has increased, and more and the more people want to have this type of door, the more they want to buy it.”
Zhao said that in the past, people would have to wait weeks to buy a door, but now they can get one within a day or two, making the door a common sight in Chinese cities.
Zhongjin Wang, an associate professor at the Wuhanskan Institute for Economic Research, said plastic doors might not be the first way to build a new luxury item, but they could be a good step in the right direction.
“We don’t know if plastic will be the best option, but it could be good to have a door in your apartment,” Zhang said.
Zhang said the car was an important part of people’s lives in China.
He noted that in some parts of the country plastic doors have been banned.
Zhou said he doesn’t think plastic car sales will drop significantly as people continue to use the cars, but he said that the popularity of the car could help make the door more affordable.