Another brilliant idea from the automotive folks who flew their private jets to go begging:
General Motors plans to invest $1 billion in Brazil to avoid the kind of problems the U.S. automaker is facing in its home market, said the beleaguered car maker.
According to the president of GM Brazil-Mercosur, Jaime Ardila, the funding will come from the package of financial aid that the manufacturer will receive from the U.S. government and will be used to “complete the renovation of the line of products up to 2012.”
“It wouldn’t be logical to withdraw the investment from where we’re growing, and our goal is to protect investments in emerging markets,” he said in a statement published by the business daily Gazeta Mercantil.
Meanwhile, he cut the company’s revenue forecast for this year by 14% to $9.5 billion from $11 billion, as the economic crisis began to cause rapid slowdowns in sales.
GM already announced three programs of paid leave, and Ardila added that GM Brazil “is going to wait and see how the market behaves in order to know what decision to take” with regard to possible layoffs.
Outsourcing your tax dollars overseas.
UPDATE, Sunday 23 November: I (happily) stand corrected
Commenter Pat links to this Autoblog post, GM not sending any bailout money to Brazilian operation
We contacted General Motors to check on the story and spokesman Richard James replied, “I don’t know if something got lost in translation but Jaime Ardila, President of GM Brazil did NOT say that funding for GMB projects would come from the US financial aid package. GM Brazil has $1 billion in investments that have already been approved but they will be financed by our Brazilian operations through local sources.”
Just as Opel (GM’s German division) is going to the German government for assistance, GM Brazil-Mercosur is raising capital in that country. During the congressional hearings this week, CEO Rick Wagoner also indicated that GM operations in different regions are each funding projects locally in response to a question about a recent expansion in Russia. It appears that any money that GM gets from the US government will stay here.
And that may be the only good news out of the bailout story.