: GM Exporting $1.3 Billion in Goods to China



HotRodSaint
11-21-03, 10:52 AM
GM to export $1.3 billion of cars to China


By Dave Guilford
Automotive News / November 12, 2003



DETROIT -- General Motors on Wednesday signed an agreement to export $1.3 billion of vehicles and components from United States to China in 2004 and 2005.

The move represents a loosening of Chinese restrictions on imports. China was not obligated to grant such deals for another year under its World Trade Organization obligations.

GM's deal is part of a series of agreements the Chinese government is expected to announce with other U.S. automakers and manufacturers.

GM will export:

<LI type=square>4,500 complete vehicles through its GM China subsidiary. These include the Cadillac CTS sedan, SRX sport wagon, XLR roadster and the 2005 STS sedan.

<LI type=square>Components and assemblies for 13,000 "kit cars" to be assembled at Shanghai GM, a partnership between GM and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. These models will include the CTS and SRX, as well as other unannounced vehicles.

<LI type=square>Component kits for two vehicles already in China, the Buick Regal sedan and the Buick GL8 minivan, based on the Pontiac Montana.

<LI type=square>1,000 complete vehicles through several importers. Models were not revealed in today's announcement.

Gary Cowger, president of GM North America, said the introduction of new Cadillac models to China represents "a symbol of how the Chinese auto market is maturing right before our eyes." The CTS, SRX and STS will be built at GM's Lansing (Mich.) Grand River plant.

GM announced plans to expand Cadillac in China this spring at the Shanghai Auto Show. Cadillac has been selling about 100 units annually there.

Phil Murtaugh, chairman and CEO of GM China Group, says GM will use this wave of Cadillacs to assess the possibility of doing complete Cadillac assembly in China.

The market for luxury cars and SUVs is growing rapidly, Murtaugh says. GM China currently sells Chevrolet Blazers in China, but "we'll be looking at other SUVs as well," he says.

GM wants to send other U.S.-built vehicles to the growing China market, Cowger says: "We'll look at opportunities to ship anything that we can that Phil thinks there's a market for."


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