Opening China’s Auto Market
The Salt Lake Tribune: China carmakers may be ‘destroyed’ if foreign caps lifted
Chinese state-owned auto giants such as SAIC Motor Corp. and Dongfeng Motor Group Co. may see billions of dollars in profits evaporate if the government lifts protectionist measures and lets foreign companies operate without a local partner.
China requires overseas carmakers such as General Motors, Toyota and Volkswagen to form joint ventures with locals in order to sell their brands in the world’s biggest market.
The policy enacted two decades ago capped foreign investment at 50 percent, helping local brands develop manufacturing expertise while still profiting from sales of foreign marques.
Those alliances seem to be working for domestic automakers, which earned 67 billion yuan ($9.7 billion) with their partners in 2014, according to the latest China Association of Automobile Manufacturers statistics. Yet the government may relax the restriction as it tries to make state-run businesses more efficient and to respond to changes in trade policy being pushed by U.S. President Donald Trump.