When Lansing Senator Debbie Stabenow sent her most recent routine letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, complaining that the nasty Chinese want to get their greedy hands on the super-secret electric vehicle know-how of Ford and GM, both manufacturers protested. Against the assistance from Ms. Stabenow. Ford and GM said that “they have no plans to build electric vehicles in China.” At least that’s how the Detroit News heard it. Either the DetN was misinformed. Or GM and Ford quickly changed their minds. Or they just wanted Debbie off their backs. Ford and GM both want to make EVs in China.
Ford’s CEO Alan Mulally told Bloomberg that his company “ may make electric cars with its partner in China as the auto industry moves toward producing more fuel-efficient vehicles.” At least that’s how Bloomberg heard it.
Just last week, GM said they would do the same. GM would actually co-develop EVs in China with its partner SAIC.
So, did they lie to the DetN? Not exactly. This is what they had said:
Ford spokeswoman Meghan Keck said the matter wasn’t an issue for the company.
“We appreciate Senator Stabenow’s continued support of our industry. However, the issues she raised apply to electric vehicles, which we do not currently sell or produce in China,” Keck said.
The DetN needs to listen closely. Ford had said they do not “currently sell or produce” EVs in China. No comment about the future.
GM had said they have “no plans to build the Chevrolet Volt in China.” No comment about developing EVs there.
And speaking of what people really said: As you can see in the video above, Mulally said:
“As we move to more electrification, you’re going to see more hybrids, plug-in hybrids and all-electric cars.”
He didn’t say where and made by whom.
But he said he might bring Lincoln to China. Well, not really. He said “There’s going to be tremendous pull from China to have access to these great vehicles.”