By on October 9, 2010

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.

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26 Comments on “GM May Have Found A Buyer For Their Antwerp Plant...”


  • avatar
    Omnifan

    Hmmmm.  We send all of our western currency to China as payment for all the cheap Wal-Mart stuff and then act shocked when the Chinese come back with our money and buy our plants for 10 cents on the dollar.  We’re making it way too easy for these folks to enter our auto market.  GM should just tear down the plant and scrap all the machinery.  Why do we keep doing this to ourselves?

    • 0 avatar
      forraymond

      We have been doing this for the last 30 years.  Blindly following the Supply Side Economics Theory is why.  When we get real economists and honest Politicians who are not paid off by corporations who understand that DEMAND is the only way to look at an economy.
       
      Regardless of that, the Corporations are working hard to make sure the middle class has not political power by reducing pay, benefits, etc.  For proof, look at the last 30 years.
       
      Corporations like the way China handles it’s population and is trying to get America into that mold.  Expect our Constitution to be scrapped – look at how Bush/Cheney totally ignored it.
       
      It is time to get back to the American way of freedom, fairness, equality and being the real beacon of truth to the world.  And to do this, the new Republican Party has to go.  They need to get back to the Goldwater style Republican Party, not the slash and burn Republican Party that they have become.
       
      If there is no change in our trade policy, America will be a third world country within the next 20 years.

    • 0 avatar

      You guys sound exactly like the folks freaking out over all those Japanese purchases in the west 20 years ago. Let me riddle you this: From an American perspective, how is Europe “we” and China “they”, hmm?

    • 0 avatar
      pgcooldad

      Agreed forraymond, but both parties are guilty of this. Bill Clinton did sign NAFTA with Bush Sr. looking over his shoulder. Sr started it and Clinton signed it.
      We used to have fair trade with European countries whose wages, regulations and environmental laws were at the same level, in addition to Canada who has always been a fair trade partner. Once these “most favored nation” and FreeTrade agreements were signed … uhh bought by large corporations lobbying and election donations we were all screwed for the good of the few.
      There is only one person who had balls to stand up to it all – Ross Perot.
      Has anyone read the book “Third World America”? I need to order it so I can catch up on modern American history. Since I’m on a rant – The baby bloomers have ruined this country for all of us. They were in charge of government, wall street, auto companies, foreign trade … etc.
      Signed -Generation X’ed out.

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      Deficits do matter and those I.O.U.’s the US has been sending overseas do have consequences.
       
      My concern is that in 10 years or less most of the engineering and design work for what we buy will be off shored as well.

  • avatar

    If we’re betting on the identity of the buyer, my bet’s on BYD…

  • avatar
    tparkit

    The Chinese have only just begun to bail out the Obamacrats (via Government Motors, and the net value of IPO’d assets). The price of their support is going up sharply as the Democrats continue to sink with election day approaching.

     

    • 0 avatar
      probert

      2 wars – a huge tax cut for the wealthy –  and a wealthy class that finds paying for them distasteful (1% controls 95% of the wealth)  and you maunder on about obomacrats.  Blah blah blah .  8 years of kleptocracy and you never asked – where did all the money go? Time for anither happy meal schlemiel.

  • avatar
    stationwagon

    I watched the video and found it hilarious, riding around in a car standing through the moonroof of a car and yelling. I found it especially funny that the military man also travelled by car.

    • 0 avatar
      stationwagon

      for extra fun I’ve been watching this video on mute while listening to evil maniacal sounding music-videos like this one, they match up pretty well. I tried using tube dubber but it wouldn’t let, here is the music I’ve matched to the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiiCkXw9dps

  • avatar

    After watching a grown man act like an idiot in that Chinese film clip, all I can say is; I’d rather be pulled over in Michigan for DUID, even though the mere thought of it makes my blood boil.

    White walls on a missle launcher. Really? What a way to run a railroad!

  • avatar
    Dr Strangelove

    Why would a Chinese company want to buy a plant in a high cost location in Europe? They don’t have any high-end models that they can build profitably there. Seems to make little financial sense – must be something “political”.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      Many a Chinese company has purchased a North American or European factory on the cheap simply for the purpose of crating up all of the equipment, engineering drawings and other know how for export back to their home country.
      There are, however, very few Chinese owned factories in operation outside Aisa. This is, by the way, quite different from how Japanese owners of foreign operations work these days.
       

    • 0 avatar
      charly

      Cars building is politics and rightfully so.

  • avatar

    Subject-pronoun disagreement. GM is an it.

  • avatar
    441Zuke

    “I, for one, welcome our new overlords”

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    I’m kind of puzzled over that video; not sure if its exceptionally good digital video or really bad re-touched video.  At some points it looks like the APC’s and other equipment in the backgroud are CG, and not very good CG, and the presidents pass and review was superimposed over the CG.  Weird.  Not as weird as the old-school communist penchant for white walls on their tanks and trucks (but not on their limos?).  And speaking of the Limos, how do you take seriously a world leader riding around in a car whose grill has this perpetually surprised look-with eyelashes and all. All kidding aside though, the city is impressive, very clean and modern. China should be taken seriously.

    PS. who are the girls in red dresses and white go-go boots? 

    • 0 avatar

      I watched the show live on Chinese TV (as a foreigner, I wasn’t invited) and I can attest that is was no CG. Can’t do it live. I can attest that the missile launchers had white walls (they drove by my house) and that the short skirted female troops were the height of the , well, party. Should there ever be a war, they will make the opposing force lose. They are a distraction that cannot be ignored.

  • avatar
    DearS

    Perhaps as more things go to hell, people will wake up. I hope China can at least produce good cars I can afford.

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    Just waiting for the author to pop in with the “it’s all good  you don’t understand China” rhetoric…

  • avatar
    Trend-Shifter

    SAIC could be on the path to be the next Opel owner or build their own cars in Europe    GM could probably live with that since they still would have a finger or two in the pie.    At the sme time the transaction could be done quickly ahead of the IPO. 

  • avatar
    AJ

    I thought when the two cars met in the beginning that it was going to be like Rambo 3 when Rambo met the evil Russian commander, both in tanks to fight it out! That would be cool!

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    One soldier said to another, “I shined my boots for this?”

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    FWIW,
    $530MM? Ooh boy.
     
    The Xler plant in STL in the process of being flattened had $300MM in recent updates – so what? It’s still worthless save for the land.
     
    A used car plant is worth slightly more than nothing as they all come as hazardous waste sites. The US EPA  will spend 500MM+ cleaning up the post-BK GM plants.
     
    Facts on the ground are that Antwerp is worth Land-remediation. Anything beyond that is selling ice to Eskimoes…


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