Thursday, November 11, 2010

China Purchases U.S. Based General Motors Factory

Nov. 11 – Amid a series of heightened exchanges between Washington and Beijing over China’s currency manipulation and the U.S. Federal Reserve’s loosening of its monetary policy, a fresh layer of intrigue was slapped on by recent news that Beijing-based Pacific Century Motors has successfully purchased a General Motors plant in Saginaw, Michigan. (This deal was initially announced in early July.)

Under the name Saginaw Steering Gear, the Michigan unit has made steering equipment for GM and its affiliates for over 100 years, employing close to 8,300 staff around the world. Now named Nexteer, it is Saginaw’s largest private employer.

The US$450 million dollar purchase includes 22 factories, six research and development centers, and 14 customer-support centers.

The purchase will undeniably test China’s ability to manage such ventures overseas, but it will also be an important test of America’s ability to accept foreign owners, especially as unemployment worsens and U.S. politicians continue to point to China as the cause of their domestic ails.

“Did it really need to be sold to the Chinese?” asks Roger Kahn, a state senator from Michigan. “I want to see businesses successful in the U.S. owned in the U.S. This doesn’t meet the standard.”

U.S. leaders currently in Seoul for the G20 summit are pressing their Chinese counterparts for more of the same. Buying from the United States would decrease the ever-growing trade gap, which already amounts to US$200 billion for the year.

For the workers of the auto plant, having access to Chinese capital and its home market is bringing optimism to an American city where unemployment hit 14 percent earlier this year. The company now plans on adding 100 more engineering jobs.

In related news, you may recall last month's Kish Collections featured article on State-owned Chinese energy giant CNOOC's purchase of 600,000 acres of South Texas oil and gas fields.

Make no mistake about it - the Land of the Free is auctioning its soul to the Home of the Oppressed. Read Kish Collections - Why Aren't the Chinese Fighting "The War on Terror"? - to understand how Times Square can easily become Tiananmen Square.

Photo Credit - Saginaw Future and Manu2573

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