In less than 24 hours, Vince Wade’s YouTube video of General Motor’s CEO Dan Akerson’s speech touting the car company’s increasing investment in China has gone viral, with nearly 500,000 views. Noting that GM—derisively called Government Motors by some–received nearly $50 billion of bailout funds in 2009, Wade asked: “Did we bail out General Motors to have it become China Motors?” According to Akerson, GM now:
- Makes almost 70 percent of its vehicles outside the US
- Has more than 2,700 dealerships in China
- Operates 11 assembly plants in China
- Has 11 joint ventures in China with two Chinese government-controlled companies
- Regards these joint ventures “as 11 keys to success.”
Our commitment to working in China, with China, for China, remains strong and focused on the future. We’re now building out the advanced technology center which will bring our research and development that is centered largely in the United States…we’re going to diversify that more into China because we think this market is so critically important to the success of our company… [China] is the crown jewel in the GM universe.
As evidence that GM is willing to do business with the Chinese government as long as it’s profitable, Wade notes the largely unknown purchase of GM’s Saginaw Steering Gear facility, now known as Nexteer, for half a billion dollars in 2010, giving the Chinese government ownership of