No Michigander has been a stranger to the recession of the past few years. The impact of this nation-wide economic slump was considered to be felt greatly by the people of Michigan because of the collapse of the auto industry in Detroit. Many of the car companies that once ruled the Motor City became bankrupt and left with little options, were forced to stop production in their Michigan plants. Considering this bleak past it seems that perhaps Michigan’s automakers are slowly finding their way out of the recession. GM recently announced plans to expand their business established in China by exporting cars and vehicle components made here in the U.S. to China.
GM and Chrysler have both found that China is the growing location in the auto industry. The vice president of sales for GM’s international operations, Susan Docherty emphasizes the fact that China is indeed becoming the future of auto sales and it is vital for auto makers to embrace the new fate of China. The leading car manufacturer in the country is Shanghai GM and the company recognizes this popularity and wishes to branch off that success. Already a third of GM’s total sales were from overseas customers so they are simply trying to capture that success even more.
As mentioned above, Chrysler has also enthusiastically putting their cars on the market in China and overseas to great success so far. The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a truly recognizable brand throughout the world and Chrysler knows that if more sales are going to be generated, they will come from China. In addition, some of Chrysler’s other vehicles such as the Fiat 500 and the Chrysler Dundee will be ready to be shipped over to China.
Ford has not been as involved in trade agreements as GM and Chrysler and it is possible that they are not considering taking this opportunity with international trade. Ford is considered to be a relatively late-comer to China and while talks are occurring to explore the possibility of exporting vehicles from the U.S. it has not been confirmed by any representatives the Ford plans to continue this exploration with any action. It has also been discussed that Ford’s ambition is to introduce roughly 50 new products to Asia and Africa over the next four years.
There has been controversy in recent years about outsourcing jobs to foreign countries but the benefit of these trade agreements is that jobs will be created for both Michigan and China and will help signify the slow return of Michigan auto makers. Jobs will be offered at the plants in Lansing and Detroit that will be making the exported products and Michigan consumers will be able to feel the repercussions of this decision. In addition, this deal just makes sense for car companies. Sales in North America obviously cannot be ignored because it is an important part of these businesses, but that is not where growth is happening anymore. These corporations need to set their sights on expanding businesses in countries such as China and even India because the opportunity to succeed will be much greater in these rapidly growing countries. Despite some troubles in Europe, auto makers seem to all agree that attention now needs to be focused on up and coming industrial nations with the power and revenue to support new plants.