GM has a $530m millstone around its neck. It’s the closed and unsold Antwerp plant. Nobody wants it. The Antwerp assets are turning into a liability which endangers the GM IPO. Now it looks like GM found a savior that could take the plant off their hands. Guess where he comes from. Hint: Not from Washington.
Again, the savior come from China. GM “has agreed to discuss with Chinese interests the future of its Antwerp plant,” a union official told AFP. It’s no idle chatter. “Talks are going to get underway immediately with Chinese investors,” said Rudi Kennes of the FGTB union after a meeting between the plant’s works council and Opel head Nick Reilly.
The Chinese interests are so far undisclosed. One matter has been made clear: It’s not Geely. Why should they. Volvo already has a plant in Belgium.
GM is increasingly dependent on China. No only is China GM’s largest market. China bailed-out GM in India, the rumors of a Chinese engagement in the IPO won’t stop. Two car companies are essential in China: Volkswagen and GM. Volkswagen looks pretty healthy. GM needs help, and China is ready to oblige. Just keep one thing in mind: Connections and mutual assistance are inherent to the Chinese culture. But if you ask for a favor, prepare yourself to pay it back. I can imagine that the Chinese interests won’t just buy empty buildings. If assembly lines and tooling would be left behind, they wouldn’t object.