Ford And GM To Senator Stabenow: "Please, Stay Out Of This."

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
ford and gm to senator stabenow please stay out of this

It is a regular occurrence. Every few months, the Lansing Senator Debbie Stabenow rushes to the aid of GM and Ford and defends them against the nasty Chinese. The problem is: GM and Ford don’t want or need her help.

Yesterday, Stabenow fired another of her regular letters to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, and complained “about a recently reported Chinese trade practice that would be a clear violation of World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.” Says the letter ( full text here):

“China’s actions are part of a disturbing trend where China demands American advanced-technology product secrets in order for those products to be sold in the world’s second largest market. In contrast, the United States—the world’s largest market—follows the rules and allows Chinese products to be sold freely. Many Americans rightly believe that China is playing us for fools: China gets to access our large market, while our products face numerous restrictions and outright intellectual property theft.”

There are a few troubles with Stabenow’s complaint.

One, Debbie does not know what Debbie is talking about. She has her information from the New York Times, which “recently reported that China is attempting to pressure American automakers, including General Motors and Ford, to transfer core technologies of their electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles to Chinese companies, in order for those vehicles to qualify for China’s clean energy vehicle incentive program.“ Don’t Senators usually have better sources? The CIA? The U.S. Embassy in Beijing? China Daily? Wikileaks?

Two, no official policies have been announced in China. It looks like China will be happy if foreign joint ventures will build Chinese EVs under “Chinese” brands to keep up Chinese appearances. Nobody is talking about handing over technologies. And even that is unclear until the law is finally announced.

Three, both GM and Ford, signal desperately: “Please, stop helping us!”

Writes the Detroit News:

“Both GM and Ford said they have no plans to build electric vehicles in China.

Ford spokeswoman Meghan Keck said the matter wasn’t an issue for the company.

“We appreciate Senator Stabenow’s continued support of our industry. However, the issues she raised apply to electric vehicles, which we do not currently sell or produce in China,” Keck said.

GM spokesman Greg Martin said the company has no plans to build the Chevrolet Volt in China. “

Should’t Ms. Stabenow at least ask Ford and GM whether they require assistance from their Senator?

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4 of 30 comments
  • Carlson Fan Carlson Fan on Sep 15, 2011

    "Damn, there are a lot of Volts out there" Hey Garbage I can finally get a Volt where I live if I want to pay 5K over sticker. "Had the Cruze ECO last week. Comparison in progress." Let me guess your gonna tell me how much cheaper the Cruze is to own and run!.......LOL

  • Eldard Eldard on Sep 18, 2011

    Another US senator talking out of her bra. Stabhernow!

    • See 1 previous
    • Eldard Eldard on Sep 18, 2011

      @Ronnie Schreiber Good thing I don't live in a politically-correct wasteland.

  • ToolGuy CXXVIII comments?!?
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂