Buick To China

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
buick to china

GM’s overseas operations have long been touted as the only part of the General that is worth actual money. But might it make sense for GM to sell of profitable foreign operations? Though it’s doubtful that GM would ever voluntarily spin off, say, Buick and sell it to a Chinese firm, Charles Child has a column in Automotive News [sub] suggesting lawmakers should consider making such an asset sale a condition to further bailout cash. Child suggests that a sale of Buick to Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp (SAIC) makes lots of sense, cutting the number of US brands, and putting cash in the General’s pocket. How much? Based on Jag/Land Rover’s recent price tag of $2.3b, Child guesses Buick could be worth a billion to SAIC. Sure, The JagRover sale happened before credit markets took a dirt nap, but hell, GM could even use thre-quarters of that much cash right now. Plus the US market needs the Buick brand like it needs another run on the banks. Child’s analysis is thorough and compelling, and his thesis is well summarized in the final two sentences of his piece.”In today’s crisis, creative solutions are imperative. Nowadays, nothing is sacred in Detroit.” Truer words were never spoken.

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4 of 12 comments
  • Lynn Ellsworth Lynn Ellsworth on Oct 30, 2008

    That's the first 7' tall Chinese woman I ever saw.

  • Snabster Snabster on Oct 30, 2008

    Almost all the buicks sold in china are actually rebadged Daweoo, Holdens or Opels. So selling the "brand" to the Chinese doesn't really do much. A billion dollars wouldn't even cover the costs of shutting down the US dealers and idling the assembly workers here. Just sell all of GM to the Chinese, shut down all NA operations, and you've got yourself a decent car company.

  • Crackers Crackers on Oct 31, 2008

    Before a member of the public goes on welfare, they have to show that they do not have any disposable assets. It seems GM still has some assets they haven't sold yet.

  • NN NN on Oct 31, 2008

    I lived in the outskirts of Shenzhen for a year and saw tons of Buicks. At the time (2002-2003), they were mostly based off of US Cars...the US-spec Buick Regal and the Buick GL8 minivan (essentially the GM minivan--Uplander/Relay/Terazza/Montana/TransSport/Venture/Lumina van). I rode in both models and they were exactly like what you would see here during the time, except the Terazza hadn't been born yet. I was there when the Buick Sail came out, which was the first non-us Buick--based off the Opel Corsa. Since then my understanding is that Buick in China has taken over the Regal and done the development themselves; the GL8 is gone, and everything else is an Opel/Holden/Daewoo.