GM Planning to Sell Chinese-Built Vehicles in U.S.

General Motors plans to start importing Chinese-built vehicles into the U.S. in 2011, according to an outline the auto maker has submitted to members of the U.S. Congress.

GM currently manufacturers vehicles in China for sale in Asia. But the company plans for the first time to ship some of those vehicles to the U.S. to save on manufacturing costs.

A summary of the plan, obtained by Dow Jones Newswires, shows that GM plans to import 17,335 Chinese-built vehicles into the U.S. in 2011. The imports from China would jump to more than 38,000 in 2012 and more than 53,000 in 2013, the document shows. Imports from other countries, including South Korea, Japan and Mexico, would also increase. The plan is part of a broader cost-cutting strategy by GM, which has said it intends to cut 21,000 manufacturing jobs in the U.S. while increasing imports into the country.

Those plans are being devised under the guidance of U.S. President Barack Obama’s auto-industry task force as part of GM’s restructuring.

However, a spokesman for GM in Shanghai said it was “only a matter of time” before vehicles made in China are imported into the company’s home market, in another blow to the US car industry.
The production quality here is the same as Luton in the UK or the US. We may not be fitting them with all the specifications but that does not mean we can’t,” he added.

Although GM is struggling globally, its operations in China continue to be a huge success. Sales in March rose by more than 50pc to 151,000 cars, compared to 172,000 in the US. GM has invested in research and design facilities alongside its Chinese partners and says it could design and produce a car wholly inside China within 12 to 24 months.

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