Shanghai to the rescue of Detroit: Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. (SAIC), the first Chinese manufacturer and traditional ally of General Motors, is ready to enter his capital at his grand return on the stock exchange. What would mark a turning point in the history of the American automobile. Whatever the exact level of its participation (talking about 5), the symbol, in any case, would be strong. That of a conquering China, which takes more and more over on its historic Western allies.
When it was launched in 1999, in cooperation with GM for the Chinese market, its first Buick Century, fourteen years after the beginning of another promising with Volkswagen on the Santana sedan cooperation, SAIC was still a dwarf, to the very poor technological reputation. The car was before any intended to the authorities and regional Governments, in a country where individuals dreamed not yet access to the car. The two groups were being agreed in 1997 to operate through a joint 50 - 50 - company only possible formula to enter China - a plant with a capacity of 200,000 cars a year, at Pudong near Shanghai with an investment of $ 1.5 billion.
Transfer of power
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Thirteen years later, change of scenery: the GM-SAIC coupling aims sales of 2.3 million units this year in China, or 13.5 market share, pilot a tool for the production of 10 assembly plants, more 4 sites of engines, and employs more than 35,000 employees. Above all, Shanghai Automotive, the anonymous ally that the Beijing Government had chosen to partner the number one world of the automobile, has been booming lately and multiplied the initiatives. One of the latest: the purchase of 1 in the joint venture with GM, which now gives 51 of the shares and symbolically marks the new distribution of powers between the two groups. At the same time, SAIC offered half of the shares of GM in India activities, investing instead of the us in this critical market, which he was excluded for the moment. Shortly before, the same manufacturer of Shanghai had swept 7 stake in GM Daewoo, the Korean industry which he buys several models, such as a Chevrolet Spark or Captiva, and engines.
Recent texts signed with the Detroit group show that SAIC is no longer a simple local assembler, even less a vassal. In August, the two groups concluded an agreement to share new generation engines, efficient fuel and new automatic transmissions, the horizon of 2012. Conventional synergies for economies of scale Two details are trivial: the Shanghai Group may use these engines on its own brands as Roewe. And won the Division of industrial property of these bodies at the global level, a first apparently to a Chinese group. This week, the same partners signed a new agreement to expand their cooperation in future own vehicles, and electric cars of new generation.
Although important, the relationship with GM is the only one for the group, chaired by Hu Maoyuan. He multiplied the alliances, for example with Volkswagen, Iveco and number of leading manufacturers. And operates several local brands of trucks or buses, such as Sunwin or Huizong. In total, SAIC reached a turnover of EUR 48 billion last year, for numbers of 89.100 employees. He is the head of 32 technical centers in China, including national size 5 and 27 at the local level.