As reported earlier (on this blog and elsewhere) Chinese automaker SAIC will enter into a 50:50 joint venture with GM to sell small cars and light trucks in India. There’s not only the GM angle to this move. Viewed from the SAIC angle, memories from the recent past arise. In 2004, SAIC purchased a majority stake from Korean Ssangyong motors which ended in one big disaster with Ssangyong seeking bankruptcy protection. Most recently there have even been allegations of intellectual property theft. The Koreans blamed the Chinese, and the Chinese the Koreans – just what you would expect of two countries that haven’t head the best of relations throughout history. Now, what about India? What makes SAIC confident that the same challenges won’t emerge in India. Or, if they emerge, what makes them believe that they’re now better at handling them. And, would Indian consumers be interested in a predominantly Chinese car?
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