Story FUBAR: Gah, it’s been a terrible week for corrections. Turns out Great Wall de Venezuela was not a Chinese firm at all, it was a Venezuelan firm that held a licence issued by the Chinese parent company. No Chinese have been expropriated in the making of this post.
In a stunning application of the Dioógenes Andrade doctrine, the Maduro administration has just announced the expropriation of Great Wall Motors, the Chinese car-maker that had leased its Tejerías plant to Chery, a competing Chinese car-maker, and ZGT, a Chinese partner.
Announcing the move, Industry Minister Ricardo Menéndez said he wanted to ensure the Aragua State plant raises production from 18,000 cars per year to 30,000…cars assembled, you do understand, from components imported from China, (in fact, from the parent company of the firm they’ve just seized), almost certainly using dollars loaned to us by China for that very purpose…so, all in all, a great day for automotive sovereignty, wouldn’t you say?
I’m sure the move will vastly improve the climate for those loan negotiations…who doesn’t like to do business with partners who randomly steal your stuff, anyway?
In a fun curlycue to this story, the plant they’ve just snatched is one they’d assigned to Great Wall back in 2009 after they’d…wait for it…expropriated it from the previous owner. No word yet on whether the republic is taking over just Great Wall’s assets or whether we’ll take the liabilities, too…
[Correction: This post originally identified Chery as a Great Wall brand.]