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Transportation Businesses

GM's Hummer Brand To Be Sold To a Chinese Company 429

Posted by kdawson
from the crash-diet dept.
An anonymous reader writes in to note that GM will sell its Hummer brand to Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co. of China, a little-known industrial firm. For now, the deal will save 3,000 jobs in the US. (The military HumVees are made by a separate company and are not involved in this deal.) "As part of the deal, some GM plants will continue to build the Hummer brand for the new owner, at least for awhile. The company said its Shreveport, La., plant will keep building Hummers for the new owner until at least 2010. ... GM said it sold 5,013 Hummers worldwide in the first quarter, down 62% from the 13,050 that it sold in the same period the prior year." AP coverage has more details on GM's planned divestitures, including the shedding of Pontiac, Saturn, and Saab.
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GM's Hummer Brand To Be Sold To a Chinese Company

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  • by hattig (47930) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @06:41PM (#28189081) Journal

    Well if any company was to own the Hummer brand, it should have a name including "Heavy Industrial Machinery Co." in it.

  • Yay (Score:5, Funny)

    by Alethes (533985) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @06:41PM (#28189083)

    I love hummers, and I don't care if I get it from an American or a Chinese.

    • Re:Yay (Score:5, Funny)

      by Chris Burke (6130) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @06:52PM (#28189225) Homepage

      Giggety!

    • Re:Yay (Score:5, Funny)

      by neoform (551705) <djneoform@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @06:57PM (#28189281) Homepage

      You love being able to watch Madagascar while driving and merge without looking?

      Yeah!!! Rumsfeld!!!

    • Re:Yay (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TinBromide (921574) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @07:05PM (#28189381)
      American Culture: Made in China
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        American Culture: _Manufactured_ in China

      • The missing part? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by hackingbear (988354) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @07:57PM (#28189891)

        The original post has

        Before you worry about soldiers of US army and marines riding on Chinese made jeeps, you should also note that GM China has made recorded sales in China, despite of its parent's woe in the US. I personally did notice quite a lot more Buick's running in the city of Shenzhen than on the streets of California. When I was over there, I owned a Buick myself which was made in China but with US-made engines and transmissions; whereas i own a Japanese car here in California. Strange world.

        Why is it edited away? Is / . censoring our post, because the news of american company doing well in China does not fit the site's editorial agenda?

        • by Brian Gordon (987471) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @08:57PM (#28190417)
          What does GM China making sales in China have to do with the army riding jeeps?
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Alarindris (1253418)
        Chinese economy: Made in America.
        • Re:Yay (Score:5, Interesting)

          by TinBromide (921574) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @08:05PM (#28189973)
          The American economy recovered from the great depression by draining UK's coffers via the lend-lease act. That recovery turned into a boom which lasted nearly 50 years.

          The current Chinese boom is a result of draining America's coffers. Its only a matter of time before the Chinese economy becomes self sustaining and they won't need us anymore. I'm afraid of what will happen when China becomes the new superpower and America takes up France's position of Ex-Superpower Turned Whiney Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys...
          • Re:Yay (Score:4, Informative)

            by Wannabe Code Monkey (638617) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:55PM (#28191223)

            The American economy recovered from the great depression by draining UK's coffers via the lend-lease act.

            Before reading your comment, I didn't really know anything about the lend-lease act. It was one of those terms I had heard, but didn't know the specifics of. Your comment prompted me to do some reading (wikipedia). And I think I can say that without a doubt you don't know what you're talking about (assuming the information on Lend-Lease [wikipedia.org] is accurate at the time I read it).

            From the article:

            Lend-Lease (Public Law 77-11)[1] was the name of the program under which the United States of America supplied the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, China, France and other Allied nations with vast amounts of war material between 1941 and 1945 in return for, in the case of Britain, military bases in Newfoundland, Bermuda, and the British West Indies.

            And further:

            In sharp contrast to the American loans to the Allies in World War I, there were no provisions for postwar repayments.

            So, technically the lend-lease act was not in any way any sort of drain on British coffers (quite the reverse actually). Now, after the war the "... Anglo-American loan came about. Lend-lease items retained were sold to Britain at the knockdown price of about 10 cents on the dollar giving an initial value of £1,075 million. Payment was to be stretched out over 50 years at 2% interest." That hardly sounds like any sort of drain to me... I'd love to get a million dollar home for $100,000 and then only have to pay it back at 2% over 50 years. And in fact, at least one member of the House of Lords agrees with me (emphasis mine):

            Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My Lords, the loan originally was £1,075 million, of which £244 million is outstanding. The basis of the loan is that interest is paid at 2 per cent. Therefore, we are currently receiving a greater return on our dollar assets than we are paying in interest to pay off the loan. It is a very advantageous loan for us.

          • Re:Yay (Score:4, Insightful)

            by CaptainZapp (182233) * on Wednesday June 03, 2009 @01:58AM (#28192277) Homepage

            China becomes the new superpower and America takes up France's position of Ex-Superpower Turned Whiney Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys...

            Uhh, I live in one of France's neighbouring countries and have to say that I rather have a bunch of cheese eating (especially since they have excellent cheese, but I digress) surrender monkeys then a congregation of war mongering torturers with dellusional tendencies as neighbors.

            But your mileage may vary, of course.

  • 5,013? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Mex (191941) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @06:42PM (#28189095)

    Who are these 5,013 douchebags still buying Hummers? =P

    • by Alethes (533985)

      Because they can't get them for free.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by larry bagina (561269)
      That's worldwide. They're popular in the middle east and africa for sheiks and dictators.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by MichaelSmith (789609)
        A company close to where I work will rent you a stretched version, a bit like a limo. Recently somebody (possibly the same company) tried to avoid an import tax on luxury cars by designating their hummers as buses.
        • Re:5,013? (Score:4, Informative)

          by Gordonjcp (186804) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @08:45PM (#28190319) Homepage

          A company close to where I work will rent you a stretched version, a bit like a limo.

          The company that imported them into the UK has apparently stopped doing it, after one *fell apart* going over a bump. The normal chassis is barely up to the job, and splicing in an extra metre doesn't help.

      • Re:5,013? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Abreu (173023) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @07:48PM (#28189813)

        Here in Mexico City, driving a Hummer is considered an admission of being a drug-dealer or a politician (or both, if you know what I mean...)

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rickb928 (945187)

      Some people actually need a vehicle with more than 12 " ground clearance. Hopefully the H2 delivers this. The H3, OTOH, is a completely inappropriate tool for most anything. For status, get an Escalade. For function, get an H2. For panache, get a Caterpillar.

      Mind you, my wife would buy an H1 if she could afford it. And she thinks a Core 2 Duo with a 20" monitor is excessive...

      • Re:5,013? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Fulcrum of Evil (560260) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @08:31PM (#28190205)
        I find it hilarious that you're defending an H2 as a serious offroad vehicle instead of a fullsize chevy with a body kit. If you need 12" clearance, get a pickup and lift it a bit. At least you can get them in diesel.
        • Re:5,013? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@NOsPAM.gmail.com> on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @10:40PM (#28191087) Journal

          Yeah calling a Hummer an off roader is pretty funny. You would think here in AR, land of the redneck, there would be plenty of those fugly things, but the only ones you ever see are being driven by doctors who not only never go off road but would have a coronary if they even got them dirty. The off roaders and the rest of us just laugh at those things and make "sorry about your penis" jokes.

          Here it is the F150, the Ram and the Ranger. The Vulcan V6 Rangers actually are very popular for the off roaders here. They are light enough they rarely get stuck and have plenty of power and the cast iron V6 is tough as hell. I know I wouldn't give up my Vulcan Ranger for one of those sissy new Hummers if you paid me. The new ones look like a soccer mom ride, not a mud slinger.

          I say let the Chinese have the damned things. Those things just don't compare to a well built Ford or Dodge truck. The only Hummers I ever see are being driven by doctors and lawyers who are afraid of scratching the paint, about like those Lincoln Navigators being driven by their wives. Why anybody would want a vehicle that sucked that much gas and cost so much they were afraid to really get anything done in it more than carrying groceries is beyond me. Good riddance.

          • Re:5,013? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Chris Burke (6130) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @11:47PM (#28191555) Homepage

            Yeah calling a Hummer an off roader is pretty funny.

            It's nothing more than a marketing trick based on association with the military HMMWV, which worked brilliantly. The humvee is a vehicle to make its predecessor jeep proud. It has an angled independent suspension that puts the gear box, drive shaft and other parts well off the ground for huge clearance. It's a great off-road vehicle, reliable and rugged.

            Civilian versions are nothing like that, since they're based off completely different chassis. But hey, they look pretty similar if and if you never take them off the road you probably won't even notice. So it's kinda like you own military hardware! How bad-ass!

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by adavies42 (746183)

              Civilian versions are nothing like that, since they're based off completely different chassis.

              h2 and h3, yes. the "h1", which was just "hummer" prior to the introduction of the 2 and 3, is pretty much a real humvee minus the .50-cal that goes in the middle. i imagine it'd make an awesome off-roader, though i've never bothered looking up any stats.

  • by alphakappa (687189) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @06:42PM (#28189103) Homepage
    Are they simply licensing the brand and making completely different vehicles to Military Specs?
    • by mu51c10rd (187182) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @06:50PM (#28189197)

      Military Humvees are made by AM General, who sold the rights to the civilian versions back in 99 to GM I believe. This won't affect the military production lines in Indiana.

    • by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdotNO@SPAMworf.net> on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @06:51PM (#28189209)

      Are they simply licensing the brand and making completely different vehicles to Military Specs?

      From what I'm told, AM General [amgeneral.com] makes the HumVee, which for the original Hummer, was sold to GM as-is (well, a stripped down version anyhow). GM then painted them, added luxuries and such and then sold them to the public. That's why the H2 and H3 were so different compared to the original H1 - GM does not own the design of the H1 at all - they merely resold the hardware after some modifications. The H2 and H3 were original GM designs.

      So no, the Chinese are not getting military information out of it, other than perhaps how to add leather seats and cupholders to an existing H1.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by larry bagina (561269)

      The military (humvee) units are manufactured by AM General in Indiana. They sold the brand name to GM, who's now reselling it. The vehicles are built in Louisiana (?) (for the US) and South Africa (worldwide exports). Those plants will continue manufacturing them for at least another year. Maybe not the US one... I think most people who would buy a hummer would refuse to buy a chi-com hummer.

      Anyhow, it's basically a name and a grill design.

      • by DragonWriter (970822) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @07:12PM (#28189465)

        The military (humvee) units are manufactured by AM General in Indiana. They sold the brand name to GM, who's now reselling it. The vehicles are built in Louisiana (?) (for the US) and South Africa (worldwide exports).

        The H1 was built by AM General, who makes the military HMMWV on which the H1 is based. Of the current models, the H2 is built by AM General under contract from GM (its a GM design, based on the same platform as the Yukon and Tahoe) in Indiana. The H3 (based on a different GM platform) is built in Louisiana and South Africa as you describe.

    • by johndiii (229824) *

      No, the HumVees were the originals. A Hummer is just a big, heavy HumVee-style body on an SUV chassis. At least, that's what they are now. The H1 was closer to the military version. Hummer on Wikipedia [wikipedia.org].

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by drinkypoo (153816)

        The Hummer H2 is a Chevy Tahoe with a lift, air lockers, and a nominal performance increase. The Hummer H3 is a newer, more lightweight vehicle, purpose-built or perhaps based on some other SUV, I'm not sure.

    • by fast turtle (1118037) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @07:10PM (#28189437) Journal

      Neither. The military versions are called HMMV, which people tend to sound as HumVee. The GM product is called H1/H2/H3 Hummer and is based upon the Chevy Suburban Platform. Mainly the entire division is a marketing drone's wet dream as the best Mileage I've seen listed for the Hummer was 12MPG on the highway. Simply put, what killed the division is the low mileage and fuel guzzler tax here in the states because the vehicles simply couldn't get any mileage at all unlike the Real HMMV, that avgs. 20+mpg and the engine is a true multi-fuel capable. Primary is diesel but it will run on damn near anything including gasoline, ethonal and even what American's fondly call beer.

    • AM General licensed the manufacture of civilian version of the Hummer to GM. The Hummer you buy is actually a Suburban with a HMMWV shaped body on top. AM General High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle -M998 Truck has different design specs for the military vehicle. Here is some history about this:
      http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ground/hmmwv-hummer.htm [globalsecurity.org]

    • by PPH (736903)

      HumVees (HMMWVs) are made by AM General [amgeneral.com]. They sold the distribution rights of the civilian version, the H1 Hummer to GM. GM based the H2 and H3 Hummers on other civilian vehicle chassis. The H2/H3 vehicles share no mechanical systems or production facilities with the HMMWV.

      Personnaly, I'd rather have a MegaCrusier [megacruiser.com] than any of these.

  • by Tet (2721) * <[slashdot] [at] [astradyne.co.uk]> on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @06:43PM (#28189119) Homepage Journal
    ... but news for nerds? I'm not seeing it.
  • Save Jobs, Fuck The Planet! The motto of the new depression. Roll up, Roll up, get your tickets here for the latest 'End of the World' show!
  • by Shivetya (243324) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @06:48PM (#28189177) Homepage Journal

    I wonder if anyone will buy Saab now, it has had worse sales than Hummer for a long time.

    http://www.autoblog.com/2009/06/02/by-the-numbers-may-2009-gm-and-ford-surprise-edition/ [autoblog.com]

    The above link has some sales data.

    The real problem isn't that Hummer is sold, it is that the bankruptcy of GM and Chrysler have both been shoved down the companies and investor's throats. So they will trot out that they saved 3,000 or so jobs. What about the 100,000 plus jobs lost when all the dealerships are being forced to close, even ones who make a profit? A considerable number, if not the majority, of dealerships being punted are profitable.

    This is all about Wall Street and not Main Street. The people tasked with doing these close outs and sales are all Wall Street regulars. If Wall Street had been held to the same standards as Detroit the change might have been something I could believe in. Instead communities are going to face real problems when dealerships close. Yeah, 3000 jobs is nice but it is a nickle on a Cadillac in terms of loss/gain. In other words, who the flip cares?

    Hummer. Funny thing is they will survive in the real world and not the alternate reality world the US has become.

    • by larry bagina (561269) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @07:05PM (#28189379) Journal
      The "bankruptcy" is really just a wealth (for lack of a better word) transfer. And by transfer, I mean theft. Contract law was ignored when deciding what secured debt holders deserved. Tim Geithner's hand is shoved up the banks, GM, and Chrysler like a ventriloquist dummy, so they can do nothing but nod their heads. Not that the banks mind too much -- the revolving door between treasury, federal reserve, and the investment banks looks like a bukake session with you and i in the middle.
      • And the alternative is????

        I mean seriously, who in their right freaken mind would ever buy any of the assets from GM? Oh gee, 1 used car manufacturing plant building outdated vehicles! Yeah that will work REALLY well.

        While I agree that there is contract law it does not matter squat if thousands of people get unemployed, the economy collapses, etc. And as a matter of fact contract law was not ignored. What happened is that a majority of people agreed with the terms and a small minority disagreed! In fact I

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Planesdragon (210349)

          I mean seriously, who in their right freaken mind would ever buy any of the assets from GM?

          Well, this Chinesse company, for one...

          And anyone who can read a report on GM's actual assets. If Clinton had gotten first-world healthcare for the United States when he tried. GM would be as solid today as friggin' Microsoft. And if GM could have waved a magic wand and lost its retiree debt, we might have flying cars by now.

  • The demographic segment that characterizes their customer base is already accustomed to buying Chinese-made products from clothing to blow molded lawn ornaments.

    In other news, somebody in China thinks the price of oil is headed down.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Schnoogs (1087081)
      News flash...most of the products purchased by people who don't own Hummers are also made in China.
  • Great news! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Locke2005 (849178) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @06:58PM (#28189299)
    My goal of getting a hummer from a cute Asian girl is that much closer to completion!
  • Heads aspode (Score:5, Insightful)

    by microcars (708223) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @06:58PM (#28189307) Homepage
    at the gas station in Wisconsin where I got "told" by a guy bitching about my Toyota.

    Despite the fact that my truck is built in Texas by Americans with 85% US content apparently the "profits" all go back to "Japan" SO THERE! (never mind Toyota being on the NYSE and the "profits" go to the shareholders...)
    I can't imagine what this guy will do now when a new Hummer - built in Louisiana by Americans, but owned by the Chinese - pulls up to the pump!

    I would love to be there when it happens though! ack ack ack....
    • Re:Heads aspode (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Locke2005 (849178) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @07:04PM (#28189371)
      Reminds me of the "Buy American" bumper sticker I saw on a Ford Courier... sort of makes you want to pull the driver over and explain to them that a Courier was just a Mazda B2000 with different badges and a higher price tag. Hondas are made in Marysville, Ohio with electrical parts from Stanley -- there is no such thing as a truly "American" or "Japanese" car anymore.
      • Re:Heads aspode (Score:5, Insightful)

        by value_added (719364) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @08:56PM (#28190405)

        I wonder if it's just the "Buy American" bumper stickers that are laughable.

        There was a spot on the news last night where a retired couple who invested their retirement savings in GM bonds were interviewed. The husband was a tool and die maker in the auto industry, and both the husband and wife considered it their patriotic duty to invest in America. And if the American flag seen waving in the background was any indication, advocate the same to others.

        Needless to say their investments were wiped out.

        The post-war industrial strength of America may have existed for their parents when they retired (and their parents before them), but an investment strategy that involves a troubled industry and a company that routinely posted huge losses is indicative more of nostalgic yearnings than common sense.

        My own take is that the couple's situation could be considered laughable, as in "I invested in America and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.", but they didn't even get a T-shirt.

      • Re:Heads aspode (Score:5, Informative)

        by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @09:17PM (#28190537)

        Ya well people just want something to be stupid and patriotic about I guess. With the multi-national nature of the world these days, it gets rather silly to identify a company as a given nationality anyhow. Like Intel for example. It is an American company in that it is headquartered in the US and started there. Ok, but that isn't the only place its operations are. You can very well buy an Intel chip that was designed in the US, fabricated in Ireland, packaged in Costa Rica, and then sold in Canada. They've got various parts of their operation all over. While most of their fabs are in the US (one is in Ireland, two in Israel, 12 in the US) all their packaging and testing centres are outside the US. Likewise their R&D are in the US, but also Israel, China, Korea, Russia and so on.

        So is Intel really an "American" company? They really seem more global.

        They are not alone in this. That's how many major companies work. As you noted, the Japanese car makers are heavily producing in America these days. Makes a lot of sense, there are skilled workers, lots of land, good natural resources and a large consumer base. Why spend the money shipping the things over from Japan is they are mostly sold in the US? For that matter, some lines are completely produces in the US, even the ones sold in Japan.

        While I understand the desire to protect American jobs, that doesn't mean the company has to be headquarted in America. There are American companies that produce nothing in the US, and their are foreign companies that produce lots in the US. Really they are all global companies and their country of origin is largely incidental.

        • Re:Heads aspode (Score:5, Insightful)

          by moosesocks (264553) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @11:06PM (#28191299) Homepage

          As another interesting statistic, it's important to point out the the US's GNP is still slightly higher than its GDP.

          In other words, the value of goods produced in the US is roughly equal to the value of goods produced by US-owned companies and American citizens. For every foreign-owned factory in the US, there's another US-owned factory someplace else in the world.

          (Of course, as with any economic statistic, it's not quite that simple. However, the fact that both figures are roughly equivalent is a good sign)

    • by lelitsch (31136)

      I hope the "Buy American" guy with his Hummer never walks into a Walmart. He might have a coronary.

  • by Fear the Clam (230933) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @06:59PM (#28189311)

    Just kinda writes itself, really.

  • by Trogre (513942) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @07:02PM (#28189357) Homepage

    That's about all I can say for the abomination that the Hummer became.

  • by oldhack (1037484)
    Suckazz!
  • EV-1 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Nonillion (266505)

    Guess that decision to produce the Hummer over the EV-1 has come back to bite GM in the ASS big time!

    • Now when do you think Chevron and Exxon will start licensing the patents the own on electric vehicle technology? Looking at their oil profits these days, I'd say after half of the Caribbean is under water.

    • Re:EV-1 (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mobby_6kl (668092) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @07:58PM (#28189909)

      If they had been making the EV-1 instead of the Hummers all this time, they would have probably gone bankrupt ten years ago. So... no.

  • While the Humvee is a good mil truck. The H2 is basically a Suburban and the H3 is basically a POS that was a failed attempt to capitalize on the desire of those who wished to own a H2 but couldn't afford one.

    There is irony that a Chinese company now owns the brand, but I am not going to back that up with how.

  • Shocking (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Minwee (522556) <dcr@neverwhen.org> on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @07:45PM (#28189773) Homepage

    I never thought I would see the day that an iconic US American brand [thinkpad.com] being sold off to a Chinese company [lenovo.com].

    This is truly unprecedented [apple.com].

  • Chummers (Score:4, Funny)

    by NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @07:47PM (#28189791)
    China goes chumming for American brands. Who's next, ChitiBank?
  • Maybe... (Score:3, Funny)

    by IonOtter (629215) on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @08:35PM (#28190235) Homepage

    Maybe they'll start using H3s as a aphrodisiac instead of rhino horn and tiger penis? Oh, wait, they'll want something that actually works...

  • by whiledo (1515553) * on Tuesday June 02, 2009 @08:39PM (#28190265)

    ... at least for a while.

    That's really the most important part of the summary.

  • Keep plowing ahead ignoring your customers.
    After all, they'll buy what you damn well want them to buy, right? Wrong. GM had piss-poor leadership, management with no vision. They kept making product that no one wanted to buy. The market handled GM alright.

    Now, just think if GM had treated every potential customer that entered a dealership as a criminal.

    Watch out RIAA/MPAA your industries are next. The market will handle you as well.

  • by Ihlosi (895663) on Wednesday June 03, 2009 @04:17AM (#28192995)
    ... things too learn, since I've never seen a Chinese saying along the lines of:

    "If you try to swim in rough water, the first thing to do is _not_ to chain an iron ball to your ankle."

  • Why buy Hummer (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ebonum (830686) on Wednesday June 03, 2009 @06:16AM (#28193519)

    I doubt the Chinese are interested in building Hummers. However, they are very very interested in owning the intellectual property rights to certain components such as engines and transmissions. Once they are legally in the clear and have a good design, they will be able to build and sell a car for the US market.

    Disclosure - I live in China.

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