Talk about bad timing: One day after the elections that were preceded by the time-honored custom of China-bashing (with a little Japan-bashing mixed in, you never know) China’s largest automaker announced that the long feared attack of the Chinese car on American soil won’t happen anytime soon.
“It’s really clear, in the short term – several years – there is no plan for a car business in North America for SAIC,” said Yi Lu, head of SAIC USA told Reuters. The 39 year old Yi previously was chief of Cadillac in China.
Detroiters had suspicions when SAIC opened a 30,000-square-foot office in Birmingham, Michigan. SAIC says the office is strictly for peaceful purposes, such as purchasing, logistics, technology and engineering.
(Note for number-junkies: SAIC China’s largest automaker? Isn’t that GM, supposedly? Isn’t Volkswagen after that crown? SAIC has joint ventures with GM and Volkswagen, and generously grants the foreigners to claim all Chinese sales as theirs. Then, SAIC claims them again and says: “In 2011, SAIC Motor sold over 4 million vehicles, thus keeping its leadership on the China domestic automotive market.”)