Will General Motors Sell Buick?
And why wouldn’t it?
By Brendan Moore
Sources within GM state that there are some executives advocating the sale of Buick to SAIC (Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp) of China, their current joint venture partner for Buick in-country. Such a sale would solve two problems for GM; it would get them some desperately needed capital and it would also address the issue of having too many brands to support by jettisoning one of the brands.
It seems far-fetched to think that Buick would be sold by General Motors, but it also seemed far-fetched that GM would merge with Ford or acquire Chrysler, and it tried to do a deal with Ford several months ago, and is currently trying to buy Chrysler as I type this.
The sale of Buick actually makes more sense than either of those two moves. Buick sells more vehicles in China than the US, its down to three models here in North America, and SAIC would most likely be a willing buyer, thereby ensuring a decent sale price. Buick is a prestige brand in China. Not so much anymore here in the States, and its going to take a lot of marketing money and product to turn the perception around. It’s not looking as if GM is going to have much of either of those to spare for Buick in the near future. If GM is successful in buying Chrysler LLC, then there is even less money for Buick going forward.
From the buyer’s perspective, they get a brand going great guns in the home market of China and they get a fully-formed dealer network and a brand with at least good recognition in North America.
What’s not to like in this scenario? Its no wonder that some GM executives might be pushing for consideration of this idea – I would be as well. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and there is no more desperate time for GM than this moment currently. It would certainly bring them a lot more money than selling Hummer.
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