By on September 7, 2011

Employees of Saab will soon collect unemployment benefits from the Swedish government instead from Victor Muller. They can find solace in the fact that they are not alone. It looks like former media darling and wunderkind BYD is hitting the skids.

Except here, people are not kept around for months doing nothing . They are fired. This is China, not socialist Sweden. According to  Chinacartimes, BYD announced that it will cut up to 1,800 members of staff, including underemployed 1,000 members of its sales team.

Then, BYD cut something else: Internet access in BYD offices. This after BYD staff members had voiced their displeasure on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent to Twitter.

The leaks turned into a torrent, and a BYD spokesman had to post on Weibo that “there will be no disbanding of the company.”

Cut off from the ‘net, employees have to complain from home. One man said his year-end bonus for 2008 was not paid yet, indicating that BYD may have financial problems.

The fact that BYD is fishtailing may be an indicator that the long predicted consolidation of the Chinese car industry is finally beginning. The discontinuation of the subsidies ironically hit mainly independent Chinese manufacturers, while the large joint ventures remained unaffected. Smaller Chinese manufacturers are heavy in the sub 1.6 liter segment, which got it on the chin.


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