Two very interesting developments happened recently in the Asian auto business market:
- Who would have thought that bailing out GM would have enabled them to build cars in China and ship them here?
- GM Plans to Add Four More Plants in China
- GM to Build Cadillac Plant in China
- GM to Import Chinese-Made Buick SUV
GM has been investing in Asia for some time, and their acquisition of Daewoo Motors from Korea gave them significant leverage in that market.
- Many American car companies are now pulling out of Asian markets such as Japan and Indonesia.
- General Motors to Close Indonesia Plant in June, Stop Chevrolet Sonic Production in Thailand
- Ford Blames Market Conditions, Pulls Out of Japan, Indonesia
While it might be difficult to rationalize these two sets of headlines, one way is to simply state that market conditions in parts of Asia have deteriorated very quickly in the 2 years between 2013 and late 2015 and the auto industry is now looking at the different markets across the world with very different lenses. The US auto market just finished one of its best years in terms of sales in 2015 in perhaps the last 8 years. The US sold nearly 18 million cars in 2015.