By on December 21, 2010

So far, the feared Chinese car exports were nothing to write home about. Imports to China are outpacing exports from China by a wide margin. In units and especially in value. While China manages to sell a few cheap pickups to developing countries, it has become the #1 market for the (imported) Mercedes S Class. The German car industry in particular is running extra shifts to keep up with the Chinese appetite for German imports. One carmaker is determined to change that gross trade imbalance. Not Chery. Not Geely. It’s General Motors.

GM expects exports of its China-made Chevrolet Sail to more than quadruple next year, a senior executive told Bloomberg. The Sail exports are targeted at emerging markets that want low-cost quality vehicles.

Terry Johnsson, vice president for GM’s China operations told Reuters: “Next year, the growth will certainly be many times more than our 2010 number. At minimum, our business will be 10,000 units export for Sail. It could be 20,000 or even more.”

GM has just started exporting Sails in earnest. In the coming years, Made-in-China Chevys will be shipped to emerging markets in South America, Africa, Middle East and Eastern Europe. Add to that the supposedly Made-for-China, but in reality made for export from China Bao Jun, a product made by GM’s joint venture with SAIC and Wuling, and you have a nice little export machine right there.

Other foreign carmakers don’t want to be left behind, and copy GM’s strategy . Who would have thought that the countries that were the most paranoid of Chinese import end up jump-starting Chinese exports?

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3 Comments on “GM To The Rescue: Chinese Car Exports Under Full Sail...”

  • avatar

    Who’d have thought indeed!Gm do Brasil for instance is already suffering from this. Our Chevy Classic sedan is now made from stamping imported from China. Said stamps were used in China to make the Chinese last generation Sail.

    There goes the neighborhood! GM is on deathwatch down here. GM here always had a reputation for wordly cars with good technology and world class design. Brazilian GM always copycatted the latest Opel. With that gone, GM do Brasil is left to do collaborative engineering with Daewoo and probably soon, with Wuling and SAIC. GM will have to change years of Brazilian GM culture and perceptions about them.

    But, who knows. Maybe they know better than me. I mean, Brazilians have shown no hesitation to adapt Toyonda and Hyundai (though Nissan has always been low volume and Suzuki got kicked out a couple of years back and are now trying a return and Mazda was kicked out, too). The Chinese are still a question mark. Who knows? We might be witnessing the Asification of Brazilian roads (much like what happened in America…)

  • avatar

    I’m thinking it’s something like “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”

  • avatar

    Car company’s look envious at the insane profit margins of electronics  company’s, that design their products in Tokyo, California or Soul and than make them dirt cheap in China.

    Everyone in manufacturing looks at those profit margins with foam around their mouth.
    Thats the reason Mr. Schmitt is in China right? ;)

    On ebay, you can buy knock of “OEM” Headphones directly from China, that resemble the original in every way, except that instead of 49,99$ they are 4,99$ including airmail.

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