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…)
In GM’s darkest hour, in December 2009, GM and SAIC cut a strange deal: GM ceded control of the 50:50 China joint venture by selling 1 percent to SAIC. GM also transferred half of GM’s India operations to the Chinese company. GM received a $400 million line of credit. SAIC received access to the Indian market, which it had coveted, but the Indians had sworn to keep the Chinese out. Now they rode in on GM’s coattails.
We have been predicting it for quite a while: Chinese car exports, hopelessly in a hole, will be saved by those who used to be most paranoid about Chinese exports: Foreign carmakers. Surprisingly, they are led by partially government and union-owned GM.
The new motto appears to be: “Chinese car exports bad, except if they are our Chinese.” (Read More…)
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. (Read More…)
GM China has made good on its threat to sell Made in China GMs abroad. According to The Nikkei [sub], Shanghai General Motors Co. has begun exporting the Chevrolet New Sail from China to Chile. Some of the B&B opined that this is nothing new. However, the Nikkei says that “this is the first time a world-class automaker will export from China a model it developed in the country.” A few weeks ago, Terry Johnsson, Shanghai GM vice president of vehicle sales, service and marketing, said that this is “the first locally developed and manufactured passenger car from an international brand to be exported.” (Read More…)
The feared takeover of the world by Chinese cars so far was a non-starter. We’ve always said that cars built at Chinese joint ventures with Western (or Japanese) companies would be best suited to break that spell. But so far, the Western (or Japanese) joint venture partners wouldn’t play ball. Why invite a Chinese joint venture abroad where it competes in your markets? Now the first international brand will export a low-end car it developed for China to Latin America. For starters. Guess who? (Read More…)