Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

New York Times (0) – Liuzhou (1)

Liuzhou hits the news. The New York Times has an article by a Keith Bradsher on General Motors and their joint venture with Liuzhou Wuling.

He gets off to a bad start.

"In this obscure corner of southern China…"

OK Mr Bradsher. What is obscure about it? Come to that what is corner-ish about it. Oh I know! It's not Shanghai or Beijing!

Wuling VanThe article continues to describe GM's relationship with Wuling, in particular concentrating on ex-GM China chief, Philip F. Murtaugh. It claims that he was responsible for GM's success and, in particular, heavily implies that he was responsible for dreaming up the Wuling Minivan.

This is just nonsense. Wuling were making the minivans long before GM came on the scene. (They started minivan production in 1981. GM entered the joint venture in 2002.)

According to the article, the "minivans have been a big hit…" and the "utilitarian minivans and pickups are mainly purchased in China by small-business owners in towns and smaller cities, who drive them both to carry supplies for their businesses and to transport their families."

Probably true, but it is certainly the case that there is not a single person in Liuzhou aching to own a Wuling van as a desirable must have. The glorified wheelbarrows have a reputation of being unreliable, dangerous and short lived.

What is surprising is that the article totally fails to mention SAIC / GM / Wuling's real success story – the Spark. The article is bylined as being posted from Liuzhou. Is it possible that Mr Bradsher was so busy trying to shed light into the obscurity of the corner that he failed to notice that the streets are full of Sparks? Or did he just never visit Liuzhou at all?

All in all, a strange and misleading article.

. This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 9th, 2005 at 7:59 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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