What companies in China now want to orientate themselves on

So Few speak frankly like Carlos Tavares. When political tensions, like in Iran and Russia, end in mutual sanctions, a company has to make a decision, said the head of Opel parent company Stellantis five days before Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. In the meantime, he himself has already made the decision for the fourth-largest car manufacturer in the world, which he leads. “We are a Western company,” Tavares clarified. He recently stamped out a joint venture with the Chinese state-owned Guangzhou Automobile Group. Tavares justified this with Beijing’s growing interference in the business world over the past five years. “Western companies are having more and more problems in their Chinese operations,” the Stellantis boss summed up.

Some say Tavares is easy to talk to. His group turned over more than 152 billion euros last year, of which less than 4 billion euros came from the region of China, India and Southeast Asia. Resulting from the merger of the Italian-American manufacturer Fiat-Chrysler with the French manufacturer Peugeot-Citroën, Stellantis would have to get over a farewell to the Far East. Others have it much more difficult, especially the German manufacturers Volkswagen and Daimler. They now sell more than every third car in China, no other market is more important to them. At Daimler, the Chinese are even the largest single shareholder with the state-owned Beijing Automotive Group. Basically, given this dependency, as a company it is hard to imagine breaking with China.

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