By on June 4, 2013


A few weeks ago, GM’s spokesman Greg Martin said:

“There will be no exports of these cars built in China. Cars that are built in China are sold in China.”

No true, said GM China head Bob Socia to Reuters today, reiterating former statements that GM’s Chinese export machine is in full swing: “GM plans to export as many as 130,000 China-made vehicles this year, up from 77,000 vehicles in 2012, driven by demand for its Chevrolet Sail in other emerging markets,” Reuters writes.

The Sail, GM’s $9,800 car, goes to “South America and other emerging markets,” Socia told Reuters.

According to the wire, GM is China’s second-largest  car exporter with 33,623 units shipped overseas in the first four months of the year, behind Chery, which shipped 46,234 units.

For the first time in the history of car manufacturing, Chinese carmakers have sold 1 million cars outside of China in 2012, writes Matt Gasnier. GM was glad to help.

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19 Comments on “GM Wants To Nearly Double Its Exports From China...”

  • avatar
    sunridge place

    Good utilization of factory capacity.

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed! It’s too bad that the US won’t be getting any of the Chinese-built vehicles like the US got South Korean-built vehicles in the past.

      GM still has nothing to compete with the low-cost throw-away vehicles from Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, Toyota and Honda, the favorites of the daily commute crowd.

  • avatar

    the future, goodbye to high paying manufacturing jobs elsewhere

    • 0 avatar

      This is already happening regardless of whether GM exports Chinese built vehicles

      “Manually, it takes a team of painters 4.5 hours to do the first coat. The robots do it in 24 minutes with perfect quality. Boeing began using the machine in February. By midsummer, all 777 wings will be painted this way.”

      Boeing, by the way, was inpsired by a BMW plant that is 95% automized.

      • 0 avatar

        More automation is the key to higher quality and greater profitability. Robots don’t worry about union-won healthcare and benefits concessions or strike bargaining chips and can work effectively and efficiently 24 hours a day, day after day after day.

        People are the worst variable when injected into any situation or environment.

      • 0 avatar

        Historically, the trend has been that automation replaced low-skill (often no-skill) jobs with new jobs that demanded higher skills and better training. The design, manufacture, operation, maintenance and repair of CNC machines, robots, etc. requires higher skills (at much better pay) than the jobs they replace ever did.

        Improved education and leadership in manufacturing technology (automation) has been the largest driver of North American economic growth/prosperity since the late 1800’s.

    • 0 avatar

      Except that manufacturing is increasing in countries that pay more than China:

      The Economist had a whole special insert about this phenomenon a few months ago, and it includes things like IT jobs in some cases.

      As people have said above, automation will remove some of the low-skilled jobs, but that’s to be expected.

  • avatar

    Not too long ago, you bought a car made either in the USA, Japan, Germany, Korea, Canada, Mexico, Sweden or England. With very few exceptions those were the choices.

    Today in the US you can buy a Porsche made in Slovakia, a Fiat made in Serbia, a Ford made in Turkey, soon another Ford made in Thailand, a Toyota made in France, a Mercedes Benz made in South Africa. It’s amazing that there is still no single car sold here that is assembled in China, given China’s manufacturing prowess compared to these other countries and each manufacturer’s presence there. The brands are obviously concerned about the political context, so it may actually end up leaving that space open to a company like Great Wall to be the first, and replicate what they’re doing in Australia. Or why not Volkswagen?? Not being a US company & having a relatively small footprint here they have less political damage to incur.

    • 0 avatar

      The more brands the merrier, I say. Let the buyers in the market place decide which brands shall live and which brands shall die.

      However, that capitalist-inspired philosophy was turned upside down in 2008 and 2009 when the US government selectively decided which businesses would live and which businesses would die.

      So it boils down to the buyers’ philosophy now as the deciding factor what they choose to drive. If a buyer supports bailouts, handouts and nationalization, then they’ll buy GM even if made in Canada, Mexico or China (if we should get lucky and get lower-priced Chinese-made GM vehicles here in the US).

      But if a buyer does not support handouts, bailouts and nationalization there are a plethora of other brands to choose from, also made in many exotic places like Canada, Mexico and elsewhere.

      • 0 avatar

        Aw ‘come on cat. The 2008-9 episode was the functional equivalent of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy not a Chapter 7 liquidation. U.S. Treasury provided the D.I.P. financing because nobody else could at the time. And it got done fairly quickly so it didn’t drag the whole economy down.

        The politicians behaved properly, imo. because they were scared. Wouldn’t trust them do behave so well if there were a next time. GM and Chrysler are probably one or both on their way out of business, but no corporation, however fucked up culturally, is going to die right away when it is so rich.

        • 0 avatar

          I understand why it was done but there were a lot of other businesses that went belly up because the government did not have their back, and many that failed were non-union shops.

          This has been extensively covered and commented on in the years after 2009.

          I also understand that the majority rules in America and America always gets what it deserves because we vote for it.

          Too big to fail just doesn’t feel right when the taxpayers have to assume the debts and obligations of a failed business.

          Even disaster loans have to be paid back, but bailouts and nationalization of failed companies just mean incurred losses to the nation.

          Some people are OK with that. I can’t support it, no matter who’s in the White House or who runs Congress. Yet, this is exactly what the future has in store for us.

          The precedence has been set. This will continue to recur again and again as America spends itself into bankruptcy. The answer? Print more money! And that’s what we’re doing now.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        Most vehicle buyers are not lost in the smoke and mirrors of such political psycho-babble and choose what they want based on price/value.

        • 0 avatar

          Agreed! That’s why the F150 and the Camry are the best sellers in America because they represent the best value for the money.

          But watch out for the Altima. It represents an even better value for the money as long as you don’t keep it beyond the warranty period.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            Yes, And the empirical evidence says that GM is, by some margin, the most popular company in America, for that matter everywhere in the world outside of Japan. Your own logic defeats your argument, HDC.

      • 0 avatar

        @HDC : “If a buyer supports bailouts, handouts and nationalization, then they’ll buy GM”

        If there is a car buyer out there who does not support bailouts, handouts and nationalization, then they’ll have to walk! But I get the gist of what you are trying to say and respect your choice. I am sure there a plenty of people who feel the same way. Say GM is losing around 30,000 sales a month because they had received the bailout, that is a much better outcome than losing 240,000 sales a month in the US or 750,000 sales a month globally, because there was only one outcome if not for the Govt bailout…liquidation and zero sales.

        If corporations are people, lets say there was an individual who employed millions of people for more than a 100 years, paid hundreds of billions in taxes, helped win two wars for the country, helped put a man on the moon, pioneered a lot of technological innovations, gave millions to charity, and lost his job, wouldn’t you agree the govt should assist him in getting back on his feet, specially when such an intervention guarantees jobs for 100,000 people and untold billions in investment? How is ok for someone who worked and paid taxes for 5 years to receive unemployment benefits when they are down, but a company that has done that for 105 years to not? Why is it ok for someone to “serve” 20 years lollygagging at a foreign base on Govt dole to retire at 50 with cushy benefits, lifetime pension and health care, but a private enterprise employing 300,000 people directly and over 600,000 indirectly cant?

        • 0 avatar

          I was a GM guy for decades. Drove their cars and trucks. Even owned several blocks of stock. I did very well on GM, but every business, company and corporation has its life-cycle.

          The life cycles of both GM and Chrysler ran their course. Bully for them. Our government couldn’t wait to dump Chrysler and even bribed Fiat with $1.3B to take its carcass off our hands.

          We could have done the same for GM, break it up and give its parts to various automakers around the world, bribe them if necessary. Ahh, but there was the UAW, don’t you know — they stood around to collect payback for their votes that put Obama in office.

          Nobody wanted any part of GM because GM is fraught with problems. So Obama’s solution was to nationalize GM. It was his prerogative. We, the people, voted to place him in a position so he could do that. We got exactly what we deserved!

          Some people say that GM is doing great today but I believe that a rising tide raises all boats, including the leaky dinghy GM.

          With the political situation solved and the current administration straddled with scandals and credibility problems, most people think that our government is a collective lame duck and they are willing to spend a little money on new cars, even buying houses again.

          Increased demand means increased sales for all car makers, including GM. Nothing wrong with that. But we can’t fool ourselves into believing that GM is even remotely on par with Ford or Toyota.

          Apparently, all the things you outlined are now the de facto standard for GM and any business the government selects to let live instead of die. We elected the people who decided to follow this course of handouts, bailouts and nationalization of the few, the select, the failed.

          The problem I have is that it is selectively done. And if other people are OK with that they should flock to buy GM products. I don’t see that happening.

          The best advice I ever got was from my Democrat father-in-law, still alive and working today at age 86. He said, “Take the money and run!” Meaning, it’s not what you make that counts; it’s what you get to keep.

          I bailed myself out at age 38 after spending 20 years on active duty with the Air Force and haven’t been employed since.

          But I’ve been working my ass off to this very day aiming to keep as much as I can for me and mine. What I get, I worked for.

          That’s why so many military retirees do not return to the workforce. It’s punitive to be employed.

          If the majority of people want GM to succeed, they’ll buy GM. It will show in the sales stats when that happens.

  • avatar

    Of course the company soon to be known as the Chinese Government Motors will export cars made in its new home country.

  • avatar

    I just purchased a 2013 Malibu 2LT, and the $2500 in rebates were the prime factor in the purchase, because I don’t like to haggle with dealers. Going through the Internet, I was offered another $700 off MSRP.

    Love the car (so far) and I’m happy to report that the car was built in Kansas City, the engine and transmission are USA sourced, with 67% overall USA/Canada sourced. I’m sure that the remainder comes from all over, but I’m glad that the majority is made by the “home team”.

    I’ve been looking at Malibus for some time, but always found them lacking in style and refinement – no longer, this car has “presence”, and appears to have been assembled carefully (kudos to KC!).

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