American Wheels, Chinese Roads: The Story of General Motors in China
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American Wheels Chinese Roads
In 1991, General Motors had racked up a staggering $25 billion in losses. By 2009, the company was mired in bankruptcy. On the opposite side of the globe however, GM’s subsidiary in China was experiencing explosive growth as its automobiles flowed into the market, feeding the demand of eager, value-conscious Chinese consumers. In 2010, GM would sell one million cars – Chevys, Buicks and Cadillacs – to the Chinese.
How can a company suffer crippling losses in one continent while setting soaring sales and profit records in another? In American Wheels Chinese Roads, Asian car market analyst, Michael J. Dunne, tells the fascinating story of how America’s iconic company embarked on an extraordinary journey to pursue the dream of conquering the world’s biggest market in one of the world’s toughest business climates.
GM’s path to automotive success in China was far from smooth. One of the first challenges it had to grapple with was the fact that in China, the government not only makes the rules for the auto industry, but the Chinese government is itself a competitor in that industry. And so GM found itself in the discomfiting situation of having its business partner, the City of Shanghai, play the role of both ally and competitor. How GM dealt with this reality on a day-to-day basis, how it was – sometimes painfully – forced to shift paradigms of business strategy and political relationships to navigate the complexities of a new commercial landscape and how it thrived despite these odds, is documented in captivating detail with enormous insight and often, humor.
Those interested in international business and those intending to do business in China or with the Chinese in any capacity will glean a wealth of information from this revealing testimony of GM’s experience during last decade’s great Chinese car boom without having to go through any of the associated frustrations and pain of business dealings in the People’s Republic.
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About the Author:
Michael J. Dunne is president of Dunne & Company Ltd., a Hong Kong-based investment advisory firm specializing in the Asian car market. Michael arrived in Asia in 1990, just three weeks after earning his MBA from the University of Michigan. He soon founded car consultancy Automotive Resources Asia (ARA). Over the next decade, ARA expanded operations in China and Southeast Asia and was acquired by J.D. Power and Associates in 2006.
Michael’s opinions have been published in the Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune and Automotive News. He has also been featured in an acclaimed National Geographic documentary on China’s car culture.
A native of Detroit, Michael also has a Masters in Chinese Language and Literature. He speaks Chinese, Thai and French and is currently learning Bahasa Indonesia. He worked in Beijing and Shanghai in the 1990s and 2000s and currently divides his time between China and Jakarta, Indonesia, where he lives with his wife and three children.
American Wheels Chinese Roads
The Story of General Motors in China
By Michael J. Dunne
Wiley; August 2011
This book is available in Hardcover and eBook formats.