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People's Daily Online>>China Business

U.S. auto parts maker becomes more competitive under new Chinese owner

(Xinhua)

13:17, February 29, 2012

CHICAGO, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- A little less than three years ago, U.S. auto parts maker Nexteer was close to liquidation, but its fate has been changed since 2010 after being acquired by a Chinese company.

Nexteer has now become more globally competitive and confident for the future, Nexteer CEO Robert Remenar told Xinhua in a recent interview.

The purchase was made by Pacific Century Motors (PCM), a division of China's state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation, from General Motors (GM), when the U.S. auto industry was in hard times following the 2008 financial crisis.

In today's increasingly international business environment, companies need to keep a global picture in mind, Remenar said. They should hold fast to their local roots and business philosophy while pursuing a diversified market, the demand of which might be better met through growing numbers of Chinese investment in the United States, he said.

According to a May 2011 joint report from the Asia Society's Center on U.S.-China Relations and the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States, Chinese businesses invested 5 billion U.S. dollars in 2010 and created at least 10,000 jobs in 35 U.S. states.

Regarding the American reasons behind the sale, Remenar said it was never in Nexteer's long-term plans to remain with GM and vice versa, as Nexteer also manufactured steering components for GM competitors such as Ford and Chrysler. Rather, Nexteer hoped instead to be sold to a new company that could provide much needed investment for its future direction.

The fact that it was a Chinese company that ultimately purchased Nexteer for 450 million U.S. dollars might have surprised some in Saginaw, the small Michigan town housing Nexteer's global headquarters, but Remenar said a Chinese investor had actually been one of his original hopes for a buyer.

Remenar said that he personally felt a newcomer Chinese company would be a better choice than an established industry competitor that would simply consolidate Nexteer into its existing operation.

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