The Washington Times - May 18, 2011, 02:14PM

The Daily Caller reported on Wednesday GM’s response to a Water Cooler post on Shanghai GM’s sponsorship of a Chinese Communist propaganda film due out on June 15:

According to Greg Martin, director of policy and Washington communications for GM, the automotive company played no role in the film celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). “It was not GM,” Martin flatly told The Daily Caller.

The sponsor, Shanghai GM, said Martin, is a distribution and sales network that “is a completely separate and distinct business entity based in China that has no organizational or financial ties whatsoever” to the Detroit-based company.

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This is a curious statement from GM, considering the carmaker’s press release on the GM.com details Shanghai GM sales. While GM claims to have no “organizational or financial ties whatsoever,” it’s own website states in a May 5 press release

General Motors and its joint ventures sold 203,367 vehicles in China in April. … Domestic sales by Shanghai GM increased 7.4 percent on an annual basis to 96,219 units, a record for the month of April.

An SEC annual report for GM includes Shanghai GM as a “joint venture”:

Focus on Chinese Market

We view the Chinese market, the fastest growing global market by volume of vehicles sold, as important to our global growth strategy and are employing a multi-brand strategy, led by our Buick division, which we believe is a strong brand in China. In the coming years, we plan to increasingly leverage our global architectures to increase the number of nameplates under the Chevrolet brand in China. Our China operations are composed of the following joint ventures

Shanghai General Motors Co., Ltd. (SGM); Shanghai GM (Shenyang) Norsom Motor Co., Ltd. (SGM Norsom); Shanghai GM Dong Yue Motors Co., Ltd. (SGM DY); Shanghai GM Dong Yue Powertrain (SGM DYPT); SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile Co., Ltd. (SGMW); FAW-GM Light Duty Commercial Vehicle, Ltd. (FAW-GM); Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center Co., Ltd. (PATAC); Shanghai OnStar Telematics Co. Ltd. (Shanghai OnStar); and Shanghai Chengxin Used Car Operation and Management Co., Ltd. (Used Car JV), collectively (China JVs).

 Is GM truly claiming that a “joint venture” with a branch that uses their Cadillac logo means no organizational ties whatsoever? Their own press release states:

Shanghai General Motors Co. Ltd. (Shanghai GM)  is a joint venture between GM and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. Group (SAIC), a leading passenger car manufacturer in China. 

GM’s own annual report also gives no evidence that Shanghai GM is a completely separate entity.:

SGM is a joint venture established by Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) (51%) and us (49%) in 1997.

GM’s inclusion of Shanghai GM all over annual reports and press releases makes it terribly tough to believe the U.S. automaker is not tied to SGM and to treat SGM as just a random separate company who came out of nowhere and is running around using the Cadillac logo to help promote a Communist film is just as un-believeable. 

The Water Cooler is currently waiting on GM to respond to the “joint venture” status it seems to believe means “no organizational tie” to Shanghai GM.