By on November 19, 2008

The story that Chinese SAIC and Dongfeng are thinking (aloud) about buying GM or Chrysler, or maybe both, created a firestorm on both sides of the no longer so Pacific Ocean. Just in case someone still thinks it’s a fluke, the Chinese media is chockablock full of the story. It’s all in (duh) Chinese, but trust us: from mass-outlets like all the way to the government-owned, their headlines shout (in Chinese: ) “SAIC and Dongfeng intend to buy GM.” As far as more substance to the story goes, there’s not much to report. We and our friends over at Gasgoo made some phone calls to the parties involved, and first received nothing but a wu ke feng gao,” which the Mandarin-speakers amongst the B&B recognize as a “no comment.” Then, the denials poured in.

“GM will not sell its joint ventures,“ said Zhou Fangyu, former director of GM Business Development Department. An anonymous source at SAIC told reporters in a phone interview that he “hasn’t heard of SAIC’s plans to buy GM or Chrysler.” However, he also noted that “it may be possible for SAIC to buy some suppliers or joint ventures of GM in China.” A definite maybe. And then …

A senior executive from a global bank confirmed the rumor. “Whether it is true we should wait and see,” he said. Bottom line: Welcome to the land of ambiguity.

Meanwhile, stateside, from Digg through Reddit, the possible takeover of the General by the Red Army has become linkfodder du jour, overdriving our viewcounter to… but see yourself. Some alleged “grassroots” sites, such as GM-Volt (which may have been smoking too much of Wagoner’s grassroots anyway, but that’s beside the point) are using the story to rally the pro-bailout troops: “Will our Volts be made in China? It may be up to our government to decide.” Call it ignorance or intent, but it appears as if only our friends at Autoblog are bucking the trend. Their latest headline in the China Dept.: “Volvo unveils long-wheelbase S80L for Chinese market.”

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9 Comments on ““SAIC And Dongfeng Intend To Buy GM.” Wu Ke Feng Gao...”

  • avatar

    It makes a certain amount of sense. Instead of investing in Treasury bonds they might as well divert a few billion towards hard assets. The R&D and technology will be useful too, though I imagine it would be fun to be a fly on the wall when they find out the Volt isn’t all it’s cracked up to be…

    One of the most interesting aspects of all this, for mine, is psychological. The decades-long symbol of American industrial might falling to the Chinese? Toyota has spent years promoting itself as down-home Yankee, with mixed success. It’d be interesting to see how GM-Chrysler’s sales fared if this goes through. My suspicion is, not well – not that that this will trouble the Chinese unduly, I suspect.

  • avatar

    I disagree.This is going to be good for the customer.For years GM and Chrysler had issues pairing their vehicle quality with the MSRP.Now there is a chance the MSRP will be paired with the actual quality. Imagine a RT Minivan for 10K? Now we are talking.Of course the vehicle is not coming from CANADA or the U.S for other instances anymore, but who cares?
    Neither is your dishwasher, coffey maker, range etc.
    Wal-Mart shoppers, attention! Happy days will be here soon again.
    And GM does not even have to change their initials. It just would stand for Gung-ho Motors. A true industrial worker’s cooperative’s paradise.

  • avatar

    Question: Won’t a bail-out increase the probability of a Chinese take over?

    I mean GM costs less than two billion Dollars at the moment. Even if shares should triple in value after a bail-out, there’s also 15 Billion of new cash in there.

    Sounds to me that no matter what they’ll do over in Detroit, the Chinese will step in any way.

    C11/C7 means cheap assets for SAIC et al, a bail-out means an (at least temporally) liquid company for the Chinese.

    With war pockets filled to the max, the Chinese will easily do this.

  • avatar

    RF, I laughed my @** off at the illustration, but you are asking for trouble, nay, demanding trouble with stuff like that. Oh well, as long as they let you get away with it, sail on, pirate!

  • avatar

    Won’t happen. Cynical me might suppose that GM planted that story to raise the hackles of The Hill to get the bailout moving.

  • avatar

    A senior executive from a global bank confirmed the rumor. “Whether it is true we should wait and see,” he said.

    So, he confirmed that there is a rumor?

    That’s the only confirmation I can glean from that quote.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    If the feds elect to attempt a GM bailout, aren’t they going to do it with borrowed money … from China?

  • avatar


  • avatar

    It was just talked about on CNBC, about 1:10AMK eastern time.

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