GM’s Business is China

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The Atlantic’s Megan McArdle asks an important question in her article “Can GM Get Its Groove Back?” Sadly for the subject and surprisingly for McArdle, she predicates her answer on a single factor: GM’s prospects in North America.

The home market is critical for GM, of course. At the same time, the U.S. is a mature and probably shrinking market, so It is not where GM’s growth prospects are. Even though the company downplayed its growing dependence on global markets (and global production) during the government bailout, GM’s reliance on China and Europe are no secret.

Indeed, one wonders how it is possible to conduct even a cursory analysis of GM’s prospects (or those of Ford, Boeing, Coca-Cola’s, or McDonald’s) without considering or even mentioning China.

But I’ll take it one step further: anyone really looking at the prospects of these companies should assume that the U.S. market will shrink over time while experiencing increased competition. Can GM survive if the US market declines…or implodes? And if not, why not?



About David Wolf

An adviser to corporations and organizations on strategy, communications, and public affairs, David Wolf has been working and living in Beijing since 1995, and now divides his time between China and California. He also serves as a policy and industry analyst focused on innovative and creative industries, a futurist, and an amateur historian.
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