General Motors, SAIC eye Indonesia partnership

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gm-chinaUS auto maker General Motors (GM) has dismissed speculation its ties with China’s SAIC Motor Corp are fraying, saying the partnership is thriving and the two car makers are discussing further collaboration in Indonesia, Bloomberg reported.

“The relationship between SAIC and GM has never been better,” GM China Chairman Tim Lee said in an interview.

He added that GM and SAICĀ  were still in discussions over Indonesia, a key emerging market with a population of more than 240 million people.

“We’ve always said we’re looking at options and alternatives in Indonesia with SAIC, but we’ve never (disclosed) what the business model is,” Lee said. Options include a deal for GM to do contract assembly for SAIC or a more full-fledged GM-SAIC joint venture. “Those are … under discussion,” he said.

According to the two executives, GM plans to launch more new or significantly redesigned models in China in 2014, including a key small car update. It also plans to further grow exports of jointly designed and produced cars out of China.

Despite the expansion in China, some industry experts have suggested a cooling of ties between GM and SAIC elsewhere in Asia.

In 2010, SAIC became a 50:50 partner in GM’s operations in India, jointly selling Wuling microvans under the Chevrolet badge. At the time, officials at the US firm described the alliance as an ideal way to break into other emerging markets, pointing to Southeast Asia as a possible second target.

In 2012, however, SAIC passed on an opportunity to inject more capital into the struggling operation, letting its stake decline to 9 per cent. Moreover, SAIC also announced plans to start making cars in Thailand with local firm CP Group Co Ltd, in a deal that did not involve GM.

GM China President Bob Socia said SAIC’s move in Thailand showed that the Shanghai-based company was feeling more confident as a standalone automaker to compete with GM and others in some areas.

“I don’t think it’s fair to expect everything we do outside of China, we have to do with SAIC and vice versa,” Socia said.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

US auto maker General Motors (GM) has dismissed speculation its ties with China’s SAIC Motor Corp are fraying, saying the partnership is thriving and the two car makers are discussing further collaboration in Indonesia, Bloomberg reported.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

gm-chinaUS auto maker General Motors (GM) has dismissed speculation its ties with China’s SAIC Motor Corp are fraying, saying the partnership is thriving and the two car makers are discussing further collaboration in Indonesia, Bloomberg reported.

“The relationship between SAIC and GM has never been better,” GM China Chairman Tim Lee said in an interview.

He added that GM and SAICĀ  were still in discussions over Indonesia, a key emerging market with a population of more than 240 million people.

“We’ve always said we’re looking at options and alternatives in Indonesia with SAIC, but we’ve never (disclosed) what the business model is,” Lee said. Options include a deal for GM to do contract assembly for SAIC or a more full-fledged GM-SAIC joint venture. “Those are … under discussion,” he said.

According to the two executives, GM plans to launch more new or significantly redesigned models in China in 2014, including a key small car update. It also plans to further grow exports of jointly designed and produced cars out of China.

Despite the expansion in China, some industry experts have suggested a cooling of ties between GM and SAIC elsewhere in Asia.

In 2010, SAIC became a 50:50 partner in GM’s operations in India, jointly selling Wuling microvans under the Chevrolet badge. At the time, officials at the US firm described the alliance as an ideal way to break into other emerging markets, pointing to Southeast Asia as a possible second target.

In 2012, however, SAIC passed on an opportunity to inject more capital into the struggling operation, letting its stake decline to 9 per cent. Moreover, SAIC also announced plans to start making cars in Thailand with local firm CP Group Co Ltd, in a deal that did not involve GM.

GM China President Bob Socia said SAIC’s move in Thailand showed that the Shanghai-based company was feeling more confident as a standalone automaker to compete with GM and others in some areas.

“I don’t think it’s fair to expect everything we do outside of China, we have to do with SAIC and vice versa,” Socia said.

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