Guest: Raymond Tsang, partner and vice president of Bain & Company in China
On the other side of the world, news that General Motors has filed for bankruptcy has been making headlines.
The effects of this filing by the hundred-year-old company are currently rippling through the auto industry, as well as the world economy.
Is it a new beginning or a tragedy? Joining us on the topic will be Raymond Tsang, partner and vice president of Bain & Company in China.
He is an auto industry specialist. In the next thirty minutes, we're going to tell you what's going on with GM and where it's going, as well as what the impact will be on the US and global auto industry.
Q1. Before Monday, many media had described the day in foreboding tones. But once the day came, the anticipated filing seems to have been taken in stride by both the media and the markets. Before we get too deep into the issue, can you first explain for our audience what this bankruptcy will mean for GM？
Q2. Another question that our audience wants to know is: What has been the real problem with GM?
Q3. A look at the numbers as we know them now: The US government will hold a 60 percent stake. United Auto Workers Union holds 17.5 percent. The Canadian government has 12.5 percent. The new GM hopes to turn a profit in 5 years. What do you think of the plan? What are some potential difficulties that lay ahead?
Q4. GM made various efforts before it filed for bankruptcy. It inked a labor deal with the United Auto Workers union and bondholders. It also decided to idle more US plants and focus on small cars. In what way will these measures help the new GM?
Q5. How is the European media responding to GM's filing for bankruptcy protection?
Q6. Right before GM's filed for bankruptcy protection, Germany successfully inked a deal with Canada's Magna to buy Opel, GM's company in Germany. Does the media believe Europe will be unaffected by GM's restructuring?
Q7. Filing for bankruptcy might be the best choice for GM at present. But it is still a tragic turnaround for the 100-year old car giant. What do you think its failure means for the US auto industry, and even the US economy?
Q8. The US Big-Three auto makers are all deep in the mud. Aside from Ford, the only one not in bankruptcy, a US judge gave Chrysler approval to sell most of its assets to a group led by Italy's Fiat. Do you think Chrysler will find a way out? Do you think the deal is enough?
Q9. Let's talk about Ford now, it is currently safe. But how do you think the company will weather this current economic downturn?
Q10. The global auto industry is mainly controlled by the US, Japan and Europe. Will the failure of two of the big three US auto makers change that?
Q11. Do you really believe GM's fate will have no impact on GM China? Other international car makers said similar things when they saw their performance outside China was disappointing. What's your take on that?
Q12. GM says it will now focus on smaller and cleaner cars. What is GM China's strategy in the country right now?
Q13. The epic failure of GM must have sounded an alarm to every car maker in the world of the potential risks in the market. What should Chinese players learn from GM or Detroit?
Q14. Is it a good time now for Chinese players to acquire overseas assets, given the current market situation?
Q15. What are the key hurdles and things to watch out for?
(CCTV June 3, 2009)