The number of cars that GM imports from Mexico, China and South Korea to the US could double according to a leaked 12 page dossier submitted to politicians in Washington this week.
According to reports in the Chinese media, GM will start shipping cars from Shanghai in 2011, with first year exports said to hit a modest 17,000. (This ties in with a new stimulus plan issued this week by China’s State Council designed to foster a number of globally competitive logistics companies also by 2011.) However, those reports say GM may have plans to increase sales to more than 50,000 by 2014.
The proposal will anger GM unions following the planned shutdowns affecting 13 plants in the US, with some critics arguing that it should not be cutting US jobs and adding production in China if it is receiving bailouts from the US government.
GM is supported by $15.4 billion in loans, which have been secured in part to preserve 90,000 US jobs.
Talking to Automotive Logistics, GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson said: “We are not commenting on the detailed numbers… as they are reported to be from a confidential document. In any case, [CEO Fritz] Henderson has said that this issue, which was originally raised by the union, is being reviewed as part of our current discussions with the UAW.”
Those discussions are not expected to be complete for another week, taking them within days of the company’s June 1 restructuring deadline.
“GM’s philosophy has always been to build where we sell,” continued Wilkinson, “and we continue to believe that is the best strategy for long-term success, both from a product development and business planning standpoint.”
GM is certainly selling in China where sales in March rose by more than 50%.
However, GM’s viability plan anticipates that about 65% of vehicles sold in the US will continue to be built there, said Wilkinson. “Further, we expect more than 90% of GM vehicles sold in the US to continue to be built in North America,” said Wilkinson. “This would not represent a significant shift in the percentage of US vehicles that are imported.”