News of GM potentially exporting cars from China to the United States in the near future has some wondering if the General will be the first OEM to sell Chinese made cars in the United States. One can have a diverse array of opinions on the political, social and economic impact of such a move, but from a product standpoint, it may not be such a bad thing.
Max Warburton and his team. Warburton, of Bernstein Research, assembled a team to interview over 40 auto executives in China (both Chinese and foreign-born) and even bought two Chinese vehicles from Geely and Great Wall. Warburton had them shipped to Europe, where they were taken to a test track, driven extensively and then taken apart by engineers and automotive consultants. And it was far from pretty.
GM’s CEO Dan Akerson gave an interview to Norihiko Shirouzu, one of the best men in Reuters’ impressive stable of automotive writers. Akerson disclosed two very scary pieces of information:
- GM hinged most of its emerging markets strategy on its Chinese JV partner SAIC
- GM will hinge most of its emerging markets strategy on SAIC and PSA (Read More…)
December sales in GM’s largest market China are likely to be less than exhilarating. The indicator: GM’s Chinese joint venture partner SAIC told Reuters that its December auto sales rose 7.1 percent from a year earlier to 350,380 vehicles.
This is much less than the 16.9 percent growth achieved in November. In the same month, GM’s China sales were up 9.7 percent. (Read More…)
In its darkest hour, GM handed China-partner SAIC half of GM’s India business in return for some cash. Recently, GM injected cash (which it has again) into the joint venture, which resulted in GM owning 91 percent of the India business, and SAIC nine. That was widely lauded as GM regaining its independence. Some even said GM and SAIC don’t get along anymore. The opposite is true: GM and SAIC are expected to march hand in hand all over Southeast Asia. SAIC’s influence on GM is spreading. (Read More…)
MG, now owned by Chinese auto maker SAIC, is apparently gunning for Kia and beyond. But despite their lofty ambitions, MG hasn’t made much headway in the automotive world.
Our other man in China, (the Dutchman, not Bertel) has some spy shots of a new General Motors EV. It looks like a Chevrolet Sail, but may not be dubbed as such.
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. (Read More…)
Hong Kong, and I speak from experience, is a great place to incorporate, to save taxes, and to throw a cloak of secrecy over financial operations which otherwise would be out in the open. In the case of GM, it is also a great place to save their Korean behinds. In December 2009, GM sold a 1% stake in its Shanghai-GM (SGM) joint venture to the Hong Kong part of its Chinese partner SAIC for the paltry sum of $85m. GM also put its India business into a Hong Kong based joint venture (HKJV). GM provided the India business, SAIC provided cash. As it turned out later, unearthed in Ed Niedermeyer’s seminal oeuvre about the mystery golden share, SAIC also underwrote a $400 million loan. In its darkest hour at the end of 2009, GM was kept afloat by the Chinese. Now, history seems to repeat itself in some convoluted way. (Read More…)
”It’s too early to say for sure whether GM will purchase the controlling stake in HKJV, and thereby regain full control of its India business. It is unlikely that SAIC will relinquish its grip on India, just because it suddenly can’t service the capital requirements of the HKJV. Possibly, more information will become available when GM files its Q3 paperwork, or possibly later.”
As it turns out, they did.
When you want to make and sell cars in India, you don’t need a joint venture partner. Except when you are GM. In the dark days of December 2009, GM cut a deal with Chinese partner SAIC, gave them half of its India business and a golden share in China for much needed cash. SAIC underwrote a $400 million loan when GM was out of money. Now, India is flooded with Chinese cars bearing the Chevrolet badge. (Read More…)
GM is backing out of plans to share the Opel Insignia platform with its partner PSA, says Der Spiegel. It was planned that PSA will build a mid-sized Peugeot and Citroen with next gen Insignia underpinnings. The cars would have been made at Opel’s Rüsselsheim factory. Together with the Opel model, the cars would have filled the available capacity. Scratch that plan. It wasn’t killed because it was a bad idea. It was killed because Buick and especially GM China complained, says the magazine. (Read More…)
Lotus may not have been sold to the Chinese (yet) but someone else was. And they’ve been making cars for over a year. Supposedly, they’re not bad to drive either.
GM and its Chinese partner SAIC finally have worked out a deal that would get GM its coveted golden share back. In its darkest hour, GM had sold one percent of its 50:50 joint venture to SAIC, for the chump change of $85 million. Later, it became known why the number was so low: SAIC co-signed a note of $400 million. GM needed the cash to save its Korean arm. GM itself was facing bankruptcy, which happened only little later. Now, the share is coming back. For a hefty price. (Read More…)