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Who will lead in the post-GM era?
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17:00, June 03, 2009

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On June 1, influenced by the news of GM's imminent application for bankruptcy protection, the stock price of many Asian automobile makers rose. Most market analysts agreed that once General Motors applied for bankruptcy protection, Asia's major automobile manufacturers will acquire a bigger share of the global market. GM's decline will also create opportunities for the future development of European automobile giants such as Volkswagen and Fiat.

With these radical changes to the global automobile industry, China's automobile industry is also facing new opportunities for rapid development. Firstly, despite the financial crisis, China's automobile market realized a year-on-year double-digit growth in the first months of this year and is thriving in the global automobile market thanks to high rigidity in demand as well as effective government incentive policies.

In future, the world's automobile giants will undoubtedly be more optimistic about the Chinese market and they will also intensify their efforts to develop new technologies and products. Secondly, the trend of the global automobile industry turning from Europe and America to Asia is unstoppable. With its vast domestic market, China is certainly capable of cultivating competitive automobile enterprises.

Without doubt, China's independently-developed automobile enterprises are still facing core technology and brand premium shortcomings, along with a low degree of internationalization; breakthroughs in these areas are therefore required in the future.

At 20:00 pm Beijing time on June 1, US firm General Motors, the world's largest automobile corporation for 77 consecutive years, formally filed for bankruptcy protection.

Prior to that, Chrysler had already executed bankruptcy protection.

The "six plus three" pattern was formed following a round of mergers and restructuring at the end of the 1990s. With the three major US auto companies of the original "six plus three" pattern in trouble, the global automobile industry is falling apart.

The "six" represents the group comprising GM, Fiat, Suzuki, FHI and Isuzu; the sedan group of Ford, Mazda and Volvo; the group made up of Daimler, Chrysler and Mitsubishi; the Toyota, Daihatsu and Hino group; Volkswagen Group and the Renault, Nissan and Samsung group. The "three" refers to Honda, PSA and BMW. At that time, the annual car sales volume of these nine groups accounted for 95 percent of total world sales.

In recent years the top three groups are gradually falling apart. Now that Chrysler and General Motors have applied for bankruptcy protection, the "six plus three" pattern no longer exists.

By People's Daily Online

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