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Tesla’s Musk Wants Trump to Expand Trade War

"It's like competing in an Olympic race wearing lead shoes."

by on Mar.09, 2018

Elon Musk, was on Trump's economic advisory council until it disbanded over immigration policies.

In a rare show of pique aimed at President Donald Trump, automakers, suppliers and industry trade groups have all but unanimously voiced their disappointment over new steel and aluminum import tariffs.

The one notable exception has been Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk who, despite claiming to be generally opposed to import tariffs, appears to be backing the White House. If anything, the tweet-happy executive is spurring Trump to take even broader action, specifically targeting China over the way it handles foreign-made cars, as well as foreign automakers who want to set up manufacturing operations in that country.

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“I am against import duties in general, but the current rules make things very difficult,” Musk said in a tweet. “It’s like competing in an Olympic race wearing lead shoes.”


Great Wall May Not Seek Jeep Takeover After All

“Big uncertainties,” says Chinese carmaker.

by on Aug.22, 2017

Great Wall Motors has been hoping to sell vehicles, such as the Hover H7, in the U.S.

Just a day after reports surfaced that China’s leading SUV maker, Great Wall Motor Co., was considering the acquisition of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Jeep brand, it is signaling it may not be ready to make a bid, after all.

On Monday, news reports quoted several Great Wall officials indicating their interest in Jeep, an icon of the sport-utility market. But a day later, the Chinese manufacturer is signaling there are “big uncertainties” as to whether it will move forward, the Bloomberg news service reported Tuesday. For its part, FCA officials have said they have not been approached by the Chinese company.

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Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has long been expressing an interest in finding a partner, though he has been rejected by a number of Western competitors, including General Motors and Volkswagen. A month ago, Marchionne raised speculation further when he responded, “Yes,” when an automotive analyst asked if FCA might be willing to just sell off its Jeep or Ram brands.


China’s Great Wall Planning Bid for FCA – But Will Trump Be a Roadblock

Chinese maker could seek a complete acquisition or just go for the lucrative Jeep brand.

by on Aug.21, 2017

FCA CEO Donald Trump, right, met with Pres Trump and GM CEO Mary Barra earlier this year.

Chinese automaker Great Wall Motors is expected to make a formal bid to acquire all, or at least some of the assets of, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, according to several reports out of Asia Monday morning.

The news comes a week after initial reports surfaced that FCA had rejected an earlier bid from an unspecified Chinese automotive manufacturer. At the time, there was speculation several of that country’s native carmakers might seek such a deal with the spotlight focusing on both Great Wall and Guangzhou Automobile Group, which currently has a joint venture with FCA to produce Jeeps.

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Great Wall is the largest Chinese producer of sport-utility vehicles and pickups, something that would be a “perfect fit” with FCA’s Jeep and Ram brands, said analyst Joe Phillippi, of AutoTrends Consulting. It is not clear if Great Wall would seek to acquire just those two divisions or all of Fiat Chrysler.


China Hits GM With Fine Some See as Shot at Trump

Detroit maker accused of price-fixing – but other factors could be in play.

by on Dec.23, 2016

An SGM assembly line in Shanghai.

General Motors has been slapped with a $29 million fine for what the Chinese government is describing as monopolistic pricing – but which some observers believe has much to do with growing friction between China and the incoming Trump Administration.

According to government-linked China Central Television, General Motors joint venture with local maker SAIC, SGM, had been illegally setting a floor on prices for a number of Buick, Chevrolet and Cadillac models.

The Last Word!

The investigation had been underway before the recent U.S. election, but a number of observers have suggested that the decision to levy a fine against the largest American automaker was meant to be seen as a warning shot at a time when the incoming administration is suggesting it may shift the country’s position on Chinese trade and political issues.


GM May Be Caught Up in Trump-China Dispute

Detroit maker facing fine for anti-trust violation.

by on Dec.14, 2016

The Chinese version of the Buick Envision.

General Motors may be finding itself caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place – or, more precisely, between China and the incoming Trump Administration.

GM’s joint venture with Shanghai-based SAIC is under investigation for possible anti-trust violations, according to several news reports out of China, with the well-connected China Daily newspaper today indicating it will be hit with a penalty for monopolistic behavior.

Trade News!

The reports come at a time some sources indicate is anything but coincidental. China has been openly critical of incoming President Donald Trump’s proposed trade policies and efforts to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. But the communist country has been especially harsh in its response to the president-elect’s decision to reengage with Taiwan, potentially ending a decades-long “one China” policy.