2007 Buick Riviera Concept (China)Enlarge Photo
GM says it will be building more cars abroad after it completes its reorganization, inside or outside of Chapter 11.
Automotive News, following on this morning's press conference in which GM CEO Fritz Henderson said the automaker was more likely to file for bankruptcy than not, reports that the sales of Chinese-made cars would begin in 2011, and would make GM the first big car company to bring over whole vehicles for U.S. consumption from China.
GM has imported V-6 engines made in China for the Chevrolet Equinox, but the sale of Chinese-built cars would trump China's own visions of exporting cars and would also occur while other China-car plans--brands like Geely and SAIC have tried to cut deals to sell cars in the U.S.--have dissolved. The cars would account for about 50,000 sales a year in the U.S. starting in 2014, the News reports.
Potential models for assembly in China and sale in the U.S. would include versions of the Chevrolet Spark, a subcompact recently confirmed by GM for global sales. A fascinating option would be Buick, which has penned concepts like the 2007 Riviera (above) in China and could build new vehicles in China at huge cost savings.
At the same time it begins selling cars from China, GM would also cut Canadian imports to the U.S. and expand assembly of cars and trucks in Mexico and South Korea.
[Automotive News, sub. req'd.]