AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Protests sprung up over the last couple of days after new rules took effect January 1 in China making it illegal to drive through a yellow traffic light.
China’s government is cranky because of cleavage. As if there wasn’t enough for them to worry about on the internet, the Chinese fun police are badly upset over boob-bearing babes wearing skimpy outfits at this year’s Beijing Auto Show.
The Audi A6L (pictured above) was specifically designed and manufactured for the Chinese market. It has become extremely popular with high-placed government workers and business owners. But now, the Chinese government is putting their foot down, saying that all government vehicles will be Chinese, potentially putting a hit out on the A6L’s sales.
This is the first time in China’s recent history that vehicles purchased by state and local governments must be domestic. The list of 412 cars was released by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and the Chinese believe it’s just part of the natural evolution of their growing auto industry.
“Most countries use official cars as a way to showcase the domestic auto industry, so we see this as a natural progression of the development of China’s automotive industry,” said a report published by Macquarie Group Ltd.
It’s clear that the Chinese are going to go out of their way to protect their domestically built vehicles, especially since they recently announced heavy duties on US imported vehicles. Whether or not these measures are too extreme remains to be seen, but clearly China wants to ensure that their local automakers can somehow survive against the more experienced manufacturing techniques from established automakers in America, Europe, and Japan.
Saab halted production yesterday at its Trollhattan plant in Sweden after operations were disrupted by problems with supplier deliveries. Saab resumed production on May 27 after shutting down from April to May due to non existent operating capital. Suppliers became worried about receiving payment and stopped supplying the Swedish plant.
Saab began a deal with Chinese car distributor Pang Da Automobile, however that deal is still pending Chinese government approval. Saab’s previous agreement with Hawtai Motor Group fell through because of a lack of approval from Chinese authorities.
Saab is under the impression that its deal with Pang Da will go through however some analysts believe the Chinese government may block the agreement because they want to pursue a different strategy for China’s auto industry. The Chinese government wants China to export cars and become the world’s largest manufacturing base. The government is hoping to consolidate all Chinese automakers into a few brands that can develop to become global car manufacturers like GM and VW.
[Source: World Car Fans]
Saab will finally gain some stability, as the company will resume production tomorrow at its Trollhattan, Sweden, assembly plant.
The facility has been idle for about six weeks. Saab’s owner, Dutch automaker Spyker, has been unable to secure the much-needed financing to pay off its suppliers, but the automaker says it has reached agreements that will allow it to begin building cars again.
“Based on the information we have, it looks like we will start up production tomorrow,” spokeswoman Gunilla Gustavs told Reuters.
Tomorrows production will produce 100 vehicles instead of the usual 230-240 cars per day.
Saab and Spyker have been waiting for the Chinese government to approve a $110 million Euro investment in Pang Da. The Chinese distributor has already paid Saab 30 million euros for the opportunity to sell cars in China.
[Source: Left Lane News]
General Motors’ sale of its Hummer brand to China’s Tengzhong may be completed within a week.
The two companies have been working on a deal for Hummer since June, and an unnamed source said to be the discussions said a deal is imminent.
“Tengzhong executives have been traveling between the U.S. and China in the past months and more will arrive in Detroit soon,” the source told Reuters. “If there are no big surprises, an agreement could be finalized next week.”
The source also said that, as expected, Tengzhong is likely to keep Hummer’s senior management and operational team, as well as its dealership network.
The deal, reportedly worth $100 million, would also enter Tengzhong into a long-term agreement with GM over components, material supply and assembly. GM’s Shreveport, La. plant would be contracted to build the H3 and H3T models through 2010.
One final hurdle in the way of a Tengzhong’s Hummer acquisition is approval of the Chinese government. Earlier reports from a state-run radio station said the Chinese government may nix the deal but recent comments from China’s commerce ministry sounded more positive. The unnamed source said Chinese regulators will decide whether to approve the deal after it is finalized.