June 2, 2009

General Motors is Down

It’s a sad day for the automobile industry, and the playing field of the global market has been reshaped again. General Motors, the a-hundred-year-old automaker having dominated the industry for seventy-seven years, filed for bankruptcy protection on June 1. The U.S. Treasury will extend loans to the company that will be converted into a 60% stake in the reorganized GM.

For GM China, WSJ reports:
"It is absolutely business as usual in China," said Kevin Wale, president of GM China Group. "None of General Motors' operations outside of the U.S. are included in the Chapter 11 filing, including GM China, our joint ventures and our other China operations."

Wale reiterated that GM's businesses in China are self-sustaining and would require no funds from the parent company in the U.S. The company's overall auto sales in China rose 9.4% in the first four months of the year, while sales in the U.S. have plummeted.

By the way, the failures of American automakers and possibly their counterparts in other advanced countries potentially provide opportunities for local automakers in China. The Shenzhen-based BYD already has plans to sell hybrid vehicle in the United States by 2011, according to a report by NY Times earlier this year.

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