By on September 3, 2012

It looks like news of the sacking of Joel Ewanick has not reached China. Or at least not Chengdu.

This yellow Chevrolet Camaro with a giant Manchester United sticker was spotted at the Chengdu Motor Show. Supposedly, the decoration is the idea of a local Chevrolet dealer, but who know’s, if public reaction is strong enough. Tycho of Carnewschina is checking the boxes:

“The Camaro is very popular in China: check! Soccer is very popular in China: check! Manchester United is by far the most famous soccer club in China: check! China is the biggest auto market in the world and GM is big out here: check! All good, what are the bean counters whining about?”

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12 Comments on “Chengdu Sings Ode To Joe...”

  • avatar

    Still wondering WTF Ewanick was thinking with that sponsorship. But I suppose, nothing to epitomize the ‘global’ economy like an American icon (built in Canada), with a British soccer (yeah, that’s right, I called it SOCCER) team’s shield on the hood, bring shown at a Chinese auto show.

    And we wonder why GM needed a bailout? Exhibit ‘A’.

    • 0 avatar

      How is this exhibit A? The sponsorship as an idea is a good one, which other companies such as Audi (not a basket case) have used in the past. If as you say football is popular in China and Man Utd is popular then this makes sense. Whether it actually shifts cars is another thing.

      • 0 avatar

        ah, mike, such a respectful retort, as usual.

        My point was: considering how GM (an American Revolution) and Fiatsler (Imported from Detroit) are trying desperately to maintain their ‘Murica’-ness, it would’ve made more sense for them to sponsor the Detroit Lions and place their logo on the hood, on a silver/blue striped SS Camaro.

        Although, I don’t think there are many Lions fans in Detroit let along Beijing…

      • 0 avatar

        Sorry you didn`t think it was a respectful response, although I cannot see why you thought that.
        From the perspective you state of GM (and Chrysler) wanting to project their Americanness then I can see why you thought this was odd. However I believe your perspective is wrong because Chevy is (for good or bad) one of GM’s two global brands therefore it needs to be advertised globally. It is a well known brand in the US but not elsewhere and in the rest of the world football is popular, hence the agreement. Whether the terms of the agreement (cost etc) are good is another question but I don`t believe this agreement is an exhibit of why GM went bankrupt in the first place or a predictor of whether they will in the future.

      • 0 avatar

        Don’t misunderstand, I wasn’t being sarcastic in your post being respectful. And I see your point; as i’ve stated before i’m still pissed about the bailouts, that’s all. And was just trying to point out the irony of, once again, a British football (conceding there a bit) team being sponsored by an ‘American’ automaker in China. Notwithstanding the ol’ General’s omniscient presence in the People’s Republic.

        I’ll be the first to admit that I come across as cynical often times, especially on this site. That’s not what I was getting at with your post. Apologies.

        The fact that my word tone seems cynical may have something to do with the fact Derek just rejected a recent submission from me hoping to become a TTAC writer…? Just sayin’…

      • 0 avatar

        No problem, it is hard to know if someone is being sarcastic with text rather than the spoken word.
        One further irony for you, the British football team is owned by Americans! That caused consternation at the time (and to this day) – ah globalisation!

      • 0 avatar

        Bonus-If I heard correctly during the punditry, the recent Republican National Convention here in the US was held at the Tampa Times Forum, which is owned by the same consortium as….wait for it…Man Utd!

        Quote from The Simpsons episode when Lisa got married in the ‘future’ (the first time in 1995) – Moe: “Oho, an English boy, huh? You know, we saved your ass in World War II.”
        Hugh St. John Alastair Parkfield: “Yeah, well, we saved *your* arse in World War III.” Moe: “That’s true…”

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        ‘Bonus-If I heard correctly during the punditry, the recent Republican National Convention here in the US was held at the Tampa Times Forum, which is owned by the same consortium as….wait for it…Man Utd!’

        Nope…Tampa Times Forum is publically owned. But, it is tied to the lease of the Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL) who has an owner on the board of the Liverpool soccer club…not Man U.

        But, here is another bonus that someone with acura in his user name might find interesting.

        The other ‘automotive’ sponsor of Man U is AP Honda. So, you have a Thai/Japanese partnership sponsoring an American owned British soccer club hoping to sell motorcycles in Thailand.

        Still not totally sure how Chevy sponsorship of Man U is an ‘Exhibit’ of why GM went bankrupt….but you explained well…just another angry and bitter person who rants about it online…cool bro…thanks for letting us into your thought process. Please post more.

      • 0 avatar


        As for the Times Forum ownership, I stand corrected. Should’ve known better from my source (the pill-popping elephant).

        And yes, I am angry, bitter, and BTW Generation ‘Why’ for the record. My kids and theirs will have to pay for the check that Bush (and endorsed by Obama) wrote to GM and Fiatsler. Only to have the money sent to China, Russia and God knows where else.

        I’ll count that one as a ‘shot’, but at least you have the intelligence to argue it with facts and not just opinions and conjecture (a talent not yet fully realized by myself). Kudos, seriously.

        As for Globalization…F that s#!t. To the rest of the world, sink or swim.

        P.S. I intend to keep posting :)

  • avatar
    sunridge place

    Fair enough…I can’t imagine what it would be like to go through life ‘pissed off’ at all things that are leading to an excessive tax burden on our children…unless one chooses to do those things selectively as most people choose to do.

    ‘As for Globalization…F that s#!t. To the rest of the world, sink or swim’

    Uhh, as far as the automotive business, I think you have it backwards. The US auto market is mature. Market share fights will be small and the key is profitability.

    Significant growth is only happening outside the US (US growth is just recovery) and any car company ignoring the global markets and cost savings associated with global platforms will fail.

    In other words, Chevy doesn’t need to sponsor the Lions with a Lions edition Camaro. Chevy does need to grow globally to allow it a chance to succeed in the US given the competition.

    • 0 avatar


      Hard to argue with that. And no, my bitterness is not selective, it applies to many things I choose not to discuss here.

      That said, yes, you are right, emerging markets are the key to viability in the increasingly competitive automotive market. Why does everyone think Acura/Lexus/Infiniti still exist in NA? These in particular are, have always been, and will always be, ‘niche’ markets’. For example, the median income of a ’13 Acura RDX buyer is approx. $120k/US. Not sure about you, but I know FEW people who bring home even close to that. The f***ed up thing is, where I work, we still sell a LOT of them.

      The fact that Honda has decided to import to Canada Chinese Fits are proof of this. The markets that are established will continue to struggle, since most of NA’s prime age demographic that could and would spend $ on a new ride would rather get a $1500 rusted out 1992ish Cutlass Ciera and enjoy other creature comforts (iPhone, sat tv, booze, illicit drugs, et. al.) instead is indeed a challenge for the industry as a whole, just to avoid the dreaded burden of a car payment, and increased car insurance payments (unrealized repair costs of an older chariot out of warranty notwithstanding). Thank Dave Ramsey for that, that bastard. :)

      Bring back a sub $15k -RWD!- car (and the ‘easy’ credit that goes along with it) that gets 35-40mpg and NA would see sales boom in a heartbeat. Caveat there is, most that could afford such are working the oil fields in North Dakota/Montana/Alberta, make a s#!tton of money, NEED a 3/4 ton truck in order to do their job, and will spend $40-50k on a new truck at the drop of a hat; thus buying “Murican” (whatever the f*** that means anymore)…

      There is a lot of money to be made in China/India/Thailand by all automakers (especially since they own increasing amounts of NA’s money, treasury bills, real estate, etc.) and the automakers all know that, but…culturally, if we in NA don’t want to be driving used rusted-out, sex-stained crap in the next 10-20 years (since that is all we will be able to afford), something needs to be done. And i’m afraid the most likely to fill this void (at least presently) isn’t ‘American’ or Japanese automakers, but the Koreans.

      Fiatsler/GM/Honda/anyone else with capital in NA, are you listening??? You haven’t for years, but unless you want a market that has footed the bill for your operations the past three, four, five decades to go the way of Zimbabwe or Greece, you might want to listen to the rants of this working class hack (me). :)

  • avatar

    The Camaro is very popular in China? I’ve seen exactly zero of these while I have seen at least ten 458s. GM might be doing well in the PRC but they’re not doing that well.

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