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Chinese Leyland 

When talking about the proposed between automakers and in , a lot is being discussed as though it were a done deal, where SAIC acquires 100 per cent of NAC (including the ) and NAC gets some stock in the new company. And with good reason.
   Former premier Jiang Zemin has a lot of friends in . It’s a nice way of saying that the power base in the Beijing is influenced by Shanghai , home of SAIC. And in turn, as I had said, SAIC has some influence on the NRDC, the National Reform and Development Commission which controls these enterprises’ fates.
   Let’s not kid ourselves with all this market economy– build-up stuff: this is a totalitarian we are talking about. And it shows in the way the SAIC–NAC merger has been handled, reminding the west of the real political situation and undoing the goodwill of the Olympics’ lead-up.
   A government putting pressure on the companies controlling MG, Austin, Morris, some of the remnants of Rover and a local bus manufacturer to band together to create an ultra-large national company? And to do so without regard to the individual strengths and how they might compete in export markets? Hang on, that sounds familiar. And I had hoped that we Chinese, with such interest in history, would have been able to learn from the British experience. Maybe these companies will yet.
   Otherwise, by year’s end, expect a company called the Chinese Motor Corporation to emerge, building some new cars, some buses, and some other cars well past their sell-by date.
   Where’s Jim Slater these days?
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Entries from 2006 to the end of 2009 were done on the Blogger service. As of January 1, 2010, this blog has shifted to a Wordpress installation, with the latest posts here.
   With Blogger ceasing to support FTP publishing on May 1, I have decided to turn these older pages in to an archive, so you will no longer be able to enter comments. However, you can comment on entries posted after January 1, 2010.

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