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GM Board of Directors meets in China; first GM BOD meeting outside of US

The General Motors Board of Directors, meeting for the first time ever outside the United States, participated in an All-Employee Meeting on Monday at the GM campus in Shanghai. China is now GM’s largest national market, followed by the United States, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, and Italy.

More than 700 employees from Shanghai-based GM International Operations (GMIO) and GM China listened as Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson—who was driven to the meeting in an EN-V concept vehicle popularized during the 2010 Shanghai Expo&madsh;gave an update on GM’s business. He was then joined by fellow board members Steve Girsky and Patricia Russo to answer employees’ questions. GMIO President Tim Lee moderated the Q&A.

Board members later were given an overview of GMIO and GM China as well as an introduction to SAIC-GM-Wuling’s lineup of models, including the new Baojun 630, which recently went on sale in China.

The board also visited Shanghai GM, where members participated in the celebration of the production of the joint venture’s 5-millionth vehicle. Shanghai GM, which produced its first vehicle on 17 Dec. 1998, reached the milestone earlier than any other automaker in China.



China is now GM's largest national market and it would be normal that their BOD, R & D Labs and HQ move to China soon. The same may happen to Ford sooner than we think. With much lower wages, they could be more competitive, reduce their expenses, increase their profits and refund the hand-outs they got from local governments.

Aaron Turpen

"Refund the handouts." That's a good one. Government Motors isn't going to pay back diddly. All of their "paybacks" so far have been nothing more than accounting hijinks for PR.


Travel plus ease of slush fund transfer from US taxpayers to communist officials. AT is absolutely correct.

Let's give um another $50 billion for US jobs.

Better yet, the GM BOD likes China - stay there.


Are there any ethnic Chinese Board members?.. maybe its time.


How many large and mid-small corporations will effectively move their production facilities and part of their R & D, BOD and HQ to Asia in the next decade or two? Apple may be a good compromise that will be followed by many others. Do R & D, design and administration locally but outsource mass production to remain competitive. It worked rather well.

The problem with that approach is what to do with the next 20+ M unemployed? Can an industrial country survive without a very strong manufacturing base? Current very high US-GNP is rather meaningless because most of it (60+%) is based on the value of imported goods sold locally.


Ya think?

RCA was one of the high profile companies to outsource.

Does RCA exist any more? It doesn't matter.

Apple is NOT going to be USA based in any way that increases US taxes they can go overseas faster than Obama can tax them.

"Do R & D, design and administration locally" is hollow and no more logical than "refund the hand-outs they got from local governments".

"Would you like an Ipod case and cheese with that?"


Great questions HD. How are unemployed/under paid US workers going to buy products?

Ford's greatest success was well paid workers able to afford his cars requiring more workers acquiring more cars requiring..

Roger Pham

IMHO, multi-national corporations can still be sustainable if the products destined for the home market is made domestically, while products destined for foreign markets can be made in the region that the products will be sold. Examples are the foreign car brands that are assembled in the USA.

Some tariffs may be necessary to ensure that the game will be played in a sustainable way. Products assembled domestically may carry a higher price tag due to higher regulations and overhead cost, but may still be competitively priced if an adjustment tariff is imposed on products made in countries with unfair cost advantage. This will be a win-win situation.


RP...you cannot do that with free trade and WTO. However, closing the borders may be one of the few ways left to save the local legal economy.

With the exception of crude Oil, tropical foods and some raw materials, USA (China, India, Brazil, Canada, EU and Australia to some extend) have the local market, large diversified industries and farming facilities required to do rather well in closed economies.

Unfortunately, in closed economies, underground economy grows, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer at a much faster rate. Is that what the majority wants?


kelly...there are a few legal ways of doing it, i.e. to become more competitive and promote the local manufacturing base and create more local jobs.

One way is to replace income taxes (for everybody below a certain income level, (let say below $50k or $60K/year) with a general Fed selective 25% to 30% sale tax. That way, most factory workers do not pay income taxes. Wages can be reduced by up to 30% and local factories become more competitive.

Selective sale taxes are not applied on basic food, school items, children basic clothing, basic work clothes, electricity, first $10K for vehicles, first $200K for houses, first $400 for TVs, first $50 or $60/might for hotels/motels etc but are applied on all junk foods, tobacco products, liquid fuels, prepared foods, restaurants, luxury clothing, shoes, jewelry etc.

Both the income tax exemption and sale tax level can be adjusted to be revenue neutral or a bit of the plus side to pay the national debt.

For people making more than $60K/year, progressive income tax would apply. As people making more money spend more on luxury items they would pay a lot more sale taxes than the average.

If those changes are not enough, a negative income system can be applied for all factory workers to further reduce manufacturing cost and increase competitiveness.

Roger Pham

The following are WTO's basic rules against unfair conpetition:

"Binding tariffs, and applying them equally to all trading partners (most-favoured-nation treatment, or MFN) are key to the smooth flow of trade in goods. The WTO agreements uphold the principles, but they also allow exceptions — in some circumstances. Three of these issues are:

actions taken against dumping (selling at an unfairly low price)
subsidies and special “countervailing” duties to offset the subsidies
emergency measures to limit imports temporarily, designed to “safeguard” domestic industries.

For more details, look at the WTO website:

Apparently, our trade reps do not have the balls to deal with unfair foreign trade practices. Ron Kirk has no clue on how to reduce job outsourcing nor the harm of it. Look it up...it's sad!!!


Lessons from the Great Depression established tax rates and regulations to police the greed and speculation of the rich. Those rates kept the US prosperous and solvent until Reagan/Bush wreaked the economy and removed the laws making high finance theft and 'no bid' contracts illegal(aka "deregulation").

This "IN GOD WE TRUST" nation is based on a Bible stating:

"The love of money is the root of ALL EVIL" and

"..it's easier for a rich man to pass through the eye of a needle than to enter the kingdom of heaven."

Perhaps it's high time we returned to the regulations and beliefs that saved 'we the people' from the rich and the rich from themselves.


Heavens! This sounds like a video game version of a Marxist convention!!

Looks like China will be driving gas guzzlers for the next 30 years:

SinOPEC spent $4.65 billion last year buying ConocoPhillips' 9 percent stake in Syncrude Canada Ltd., the world's biggest oil sands producer. And earlier this summer, state-owned CNOOC spent $2.1 billion acquiring the bankrupt OPTI Canada, whose main asset was a 35 percent working interest in Nexen's Long Lake oil sands project in Alberta.

Not very "green" or sustainable unfortunately.


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