How could one company General Motors meet disaster on one continent and achieve explosive growth on another at the very same time? While General Motors was hurtling towards bankruptcy in 2009, GM s subsidiary in China was setting new sales and profit records. This book reveals how extraordinary people, remarkable decisions and surprising breaks made triumph in China possible for General Motors. It also shows just how vulnerable that winning track record remains. No small part of GM s success in China springs from its management of shifting business and political relationships. In China, the government makes the rules for and competes in the auto industry. GM s business partner, the City of Shanghai, is both an ally and a competitor. How does such an unnatural relationship work on a day-to-day basis? Where will it go on the future? General Motors also engages in constant battles with other global and Chinese car makers for the hearts of demanding Chinese consumers. Dunne gives us rare glimpses into the mindsets and behavior of this new moneyed set, the worlds newest class of wealthy consumers. China is already the number one car market in the world.
During the next ten years, China will export millions of cars and trucks globally, including to the United States. American Wheels, Chinese Roads presents readers with fascinating illustrations of what to expect when Chinese cars, companies, and business people arrive on our shores.
Michael J. Dunne is President of Dunne & Company Ltd., a Hong Kong based investment advisory firm specializing in Asia's car markets. Three weeks after earning an MBA from the University of Michigan in the summer of 1990, Michael boarded a flight to Asia. He soon founded Automotive Resources Asia (ARA), a car consultancy. ARA expanded operations in China and Southeast Asia over the next decade and, in 2006, was acquired by J.D. Power and Associates. Michael's opinions have been published in the Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune and Automotive News. He was also featured in an acclaimed National Geographic documentary on China's car culture. A native of Detroit, Michael speaks Chinese and Thai. He worked in Beijing and Shanghai during the 1990s and 2000s and currently divides his time between China and Jakarta, Indonesia, where he lives with his wife, Merlien, and their three children.
Acknowledgments ix Introduction 1 Part One Rules of the Chinese Road 5 1 Scaling New Heights 7 2 Many Detroits 13 3 Getting a Foothold In Quicksand 17 4 The Back Door 23 5 The Hook 31 6 A Reality Show 41 Part Two Pole Position, Yellow Flags 51 7 The Kit Price 53 8 Putting Shanghai First 65 9 Signing the Deal 73 10 Two Sons 81 Part Three Negotiating the Obstacle Course 91 11 The Launch 93 12 Fiefdoms 105 13 Paper Cups 115 14 The Chery Surprise 125 15 Porsches and Sweet Potatoes 137 16 Getting Their Arms Around China 147 Part Four Quick Acceleration, Then a Tight Corner 155 17 The Best and Worst of Times 157 18 Miniature Vehicles 167 19 A Chill Wind 175 20 The Favor 179 Part Five The End of the Beginning 189 21 A Memory Palace 191 22 The Great Tide 195 23 Electric Cars and Elevators 205 Conclusion: The End of the Beginning 213 Index 219