And another Wale of a story: Just as production of the Hummer H3 and H3T is c oming to an end in Shreveport, LA, Kevin Wale, Prez. of GM China, says he hopes Chinese regulators will finally approve the sale of Hummer to Tengzhong.
“I’m optimistic that it’s going to happen,” Wale told the Freep reporters on the sidelines of the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit. “Tengzhong is not an established manufacturer and that’s an issue that needs to be addressed with the Chinese regulators.” Uh-oh.
Wale supposedly told the Freep “that Chinese rules prohibit inexperienced companies from entering key industries, such as the auto industry, without approval.” Baloney, and Wale probably disclosed a major sticking point. All joint ventures need to get government approval. However, the Chinese government wants its car industry with more than 100 players to consolidate to a more manageable number. Beijing wants to see four big ones and four smaller ones. What Beijing definitely doesn’t want is more car manufacturers. So instead of saying outright “no,” Beijing is letting the deal get entangled in red tape.
Wale said they met with local government officials last week and found them supportive. Uh-oh. They need to meet the central government. The locals are always supportive of new business. The matter is stuck with the Commerce Ministry in Beijing – No.2 Dong Chang’an Avenue,Beijing China (100731)
Also according to the Freep, Ed Whitacre indicated that the Hummer deal faces a Jan. 31 deadline to close. “As far as we know, it’s proceeding like it should proceed,” the Freep is quoting Whitacre. As far as we know? Uh-oh again.