• Dec 24, 2009
Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez – notable Fidel Castro wannabe, loudmouthed buffoon of the first order and apparent Cadillac aficionado – has given an ultimatum to General Motors, Fiat (i.e. Chrysler), Toyota and Ford: Share your technology with us or get out of the country. (In Toyota's case, it sounds as if Chavez wants them to hit some arbitrary quotas, as well.) The affected parties, all of which maintain production facilities in the country, kept mum in response to Chavez's demand, according to the Associated Press, which reported the story on Wednesday.

If the automakers don't comply, Chavez basically stated that he will eject them from his socialist utopia in favor of automakers from countries he's more friendly with. AP quotes him as saying, "I invite you to pack up your belongings and leave. I'll bring in the Russians, the Belorusians, the Chinese."

At least he didn't openly threaten to nationalize them (yet), as he's wont to do with pretty much any other private enterprise he thinks he could run better. Yeah, this'll definitely end well. Thanks to Roy for the tip.

[Source: AP via Yahoo! News | Image: AFP/Getty]


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  • 172 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Dear AB,

      Thank you for provinding us the latest automotive news.

      I'm not a Hugo Chavez fan either but i think you sould keep reflexions like this: "Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez – notable Fidel Castro wannabe, loudmouthed buffoon of the first order and apparent Cadillac aficionado" to your selves...

      Keep doing what you're good at and forget about politics.
        invisiblepigeon3
        • 5 Years Ago
        Politics affects the auto industry. They're doing a service to people by reporting this news.
      • 5 Years Ago
      GM is on its deathbed who cares if they leave?

      The future of the car manufacturing industry is in China and in the immediate future countries that are developing nations are likely to invest in cheaper cars as well.

      He's making a decision that won't have much of a negative effect on his nation in the meanwhile and he is ejecting car companies that in a couple of decades will go out of business due to be unable to compete in a new car industry.

      End of the day its his nation if you don't like it get out. It's worth keeping in mind Americans used to say that to others during slavery.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Tony
        What are you twelve years old with your Windows comment? Also, don't think Windows was made in China even if the DVD it comes on may have.

        The markets need China as a cheap source of labor until the next country comes along and undercuts them. Blind furious consumerism is on the decline, and don't think China hasn't noticed. Factories are closing there and there are riots.

        Until I see the likes of Google, Apple, Toyota, VW, or IBM from China, I'm not interested in your knockoffs.
        • 5 Years Ago
        If the technology is being assembled in China then what is stopping the Chinese from copying that technology and assembling it for themselves in their own products?

        The Chinese don't intend to make money by being given tiny cuts of the profit from Apple's soaring margins they intend to get a grasp of that technology for their own future use.

        Also your infatuation with Apple computers makes no sense. Windows blows the doors off Apple in that regard so you are using a small computer company that is a semi-exception to the rule to hinge your entire argument off.

        Fact of the matter is with a large portion of the worlds population if the US stopped trading with China tomorrow they wouldn't be able to replace the volume of goods at that price and thats the point.

        All in all the consumer electronics industry as an entity needs China.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The reason consumer electronics were copied was because companies like Apple went to China and made their products there.

        If you are in the middle of China and making your product there whats stopping them from taking what you are producing and copying it since they have the technology sitting inside their factories?

        Intel have only recently moved to China and opened its plants there but eventually the CPU market will be cornered by China too.

        The trick here is that China don't aim for the very high end market they aim for the mass production and volume market and sell a lot of products in their own market as well.

        What that means is China won't be making a convincing Ferrari Enzo clone anytime soon and neither will they be making an 8 core CPU with hyper threading and 32MB of L2 cache but the market for either of those products is tiny.

        They will be making a cheap family car with 4 seats or the cheap ARM CPU's that are in set top boxes, netbooks and cellphones.

        In Europe people don't all drive Mercedes Benz and Ferraris the most common cars are the likes of Skoda and bottom of the line second hand Toyotas etc.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I do agree and see a lot of what you are saying but consider this for a moment.

        The US treasury has sold trillions in bonds to China. Do you know the significance of that? If you do then you surely understand why the situation isn't as black and white as you are making it out. The US relies on China to keep the US economy going and keep the dollar strong now that the greenback is declining with nations opting for the Euro rather than the greenback for oil trading.

        In the next few years the dollar won't be the reserve currency anymore either with a new global currency likely to take over. Do you understand why it is important that the treasury keep selling hundreds of billions and trillions in bonds?

        If you think I am lying just go do your research on Forbes, NY Times, LA Times or any other American media source.

        It's funny you say China is low and growing but puts people in horrific working conditions. When the US was "low and growing" it adopted slavery.
        invisiblepigeon3
        • 5 Years Ago
        Tony,

        I manage to get by without hardly anything made in China.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It was Jr. that gave the first life line to GM and Chrysler
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Tony
        I do see your point about debt, but I disagree with your prediction of the future. Although the OPEC cartel may deregulate from the dollar eventually, hopefully the rest of the world will deregulate themselves from oil. I prefer my future to yours. Merry Christmas and goodnight.
        • 5 Years Ago
        si_lance in what regard do you think it differs from all the other industries?

        When you look at the consumer electronics industry they moved to China because they paid less for labour and therefore could boost their profit margins.

        GM is on its deathbed it will do anything to stay alive including selling off branches to Chinese manufacturers and even making cars in China.

        GM actually already have a joint venture with a Chinese car company conglomerate and are looking to increase their share.

        Here in Europe more and more of our car industry is moving to China. Over the years car manufacturers in nations like Britain have shut down and manufacturing has been moved to Eastern Europe for others.

        In Europe we are well aware that a large part of our industry will revolve around European brands exporting cars from China to Europe in a decade or two.

        The car industry recently got a wake up call as it wasn't only the big three that were in trouble. We've had drops in profit margins and other problems over here too and we know where the future of this industry lies if it is to become more profitable.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I disagree with your "race to the bottom" argument about the car industry. It's not the same as consumer electronics.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Uh caddy, didn't Obama support GM? I believe it was the Republicans that wanted to let them fail.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Tony
        Remind me again what the GDP of China is compared to the U.S.? How about per capita income? Those are facts not projections.

        Yes, it's true that China is growing, but the only way they can go is up from how low they were. I just hope they don't break their country in process with their pollution and horrific working conditions. Let's see how long they can keep up the pace without "growing pains".
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hey I wish you the best of luck America is a great nation and I hope it pulls out.

        I didn't mean any ill feelings I worked for an American bank for a few years before it collapsed so I was just sharing my views.

        Merry Christmas.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hey Tony, did you steal that speech from Obama's telepromter? Moron!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Consumer electronics are easily copied and ripped off by the Chinese. You don't see the same happening to things like Intel, AMD, or Qualcomm chips. Some of the lower level ARM based chips perhaps.

        While it is true that the GDP in China is rising, the per capita income is still quite low, and although the cars are cheaper to make, there isn't a whole lot of profit when the Chinese buy them for themselves. Middle class Americans and Europeans will still demand more quality because that is what they are use to. The cars just need to become more fuel efficient. If your argument were truly valid, the Yugo would have taken off because it's cheap and somewhat efficient, but people rejected it. Price is not always the difference. Apple is beating Dell.
        • 5 Years Ago
        F**k Europe you ignorant tw@t. My ass is under the mistletoe and you can kiss it. Merry f***ing Christmas!
        • 5 Years Ago
        si_lance your sitting there typing on a computer that may have an Intel label on it but that processor and motherbord was probably assembled in China by paid Chinese workers and then imported into the US.

        That bumper stick on your car and that little plastic American flag is also made in China.

        I'd like to see you use products on a daily basis that are not sourced from China.

        You also seem to be forgetting that trillions in the US treasury is owned by China.

        You seem to be insinuating China has no bearing at all on world trade and you can easily avoid all products sourced from China or to be sourced from China.

        To make matters worse you assume most people know/care about what processor is running their little netbook or cellphone or the specifics of a car designed to get them to and from work.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @jjmcubed
        and wasn't jr. almost burned at the stake by the Republicans for doing so?
        • 5 Years Ago
        You give far too little credit to the informed consumer. I won't be buying a FakeMD, FakeIntel, or Choyota anytime soon. These netbooks and notebooks still say "Intel Inside" and people look for that. Cars are expensive and researched before buying. I hope you are wrong not for the sake of my winning a dumb blog thread, but for products in general. As always, caveat emptor.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Viva la revolución!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Id like to see what Venezuela brings instead of they already have. I think it would be better if they develop their own autoindustry instead of bringin chinese or russian stuff. In the other hand, usa has proved not being influential enough to change things in America as before, even less now in the new socialist democracies, wich is good because it favors industry diversity. Sayin just, hey cia, take this clown out of the way is plain ignorant, anyway they already had if they could.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Some of these comments are incredible. Bush is a war criminal, Chavez was elected legally, we tried to overthrow him. You people have your heads shoved so far up your arses it's amazing you can even breathe. That's probably explains the brain damaged mentality.

      Why are there so many who believe these dictators, socialists, communists are so wonderful and the U.S. is the enemy? Are you really that absorbed by the propaganda? So many things you have to completely ignore to hold onto your false faith that I don't know where to start. You also have to be totally blind to what this mentality has done to our country (U.S.A.) already. I guess that's where your astronomical level of arrogance comes in.

      • 5 Years Ago
      It's called R&D. The reason why cars have become better and better is that companies pay to research and develop things and get profits to continue such activities. In a free market, the better car wins.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Exactly. If everyone shares the same tech that one company invested millions in, then no one will want to be the original investor. We'll be back in the dark ages, but with auto technology.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I love it how American's and other people like to judge how these countries run themselves. Hey that's their laws, and their ways so be it. Like when people were complaining about the hikers in Iran, hey they went into Iran illegally and got arrested, go and tell that to the 1000's of Mexican's that come in here illegally and get arrested guess what it's our laws and that prevent that. So if he is saying to share their tech then so be it, he's their president, so if they don't want to do it, get out and go to another country that is not going to do that. But to sit there and say this is wrong blah blah blah, send in the CIA, he should be ousted, is just plain retarded it's their rules and he's the president and that's the way it is. The people of that country have the power to revolt against him if they want to but that's for them to decide and no one else.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Finally someone with sanity,bravo! Before these corporations decide to invest in these countries, they should take ahard look. It's the "greed" that has gotten them there , and I am in no way going to defend their investments or mistakes! If they become billonaires overnight they will not share their fortunes either! The same greed that has brought our country to it's knees last year.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Finally someone with sanity,bravo! Before these corporations decide to invest in these countries, they should take ahard look. It's the "greed" that has gotten them there , and I am in no way going to defend their investments or mistakes! If they become billonaires overnight they will not share their fortunes either! The same greed that has brought our country to it's knees last year.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hmm. Dumbass, huh?

      Venezuela: Public Health? Check.

      USA? Nope

      Venezuela: Free Education for MDs

      USA? Nope

      Venezuela: Oil profits used to promote education, literacy, health, and housing.

      USA: Giving massive bailouts to private companies and contractors to subsidize wars that were never necessary, and to make cars, that in a free enterprise system, they should be able to make a profit, or fail.

      Yeah, he sounds like a real dumbass. Oh, and don't forget, we already tried to get rid of him in 2002, and failed. You kill Chavez, you can kiss Venezuelan oil goodbye. The oil workers union controls the oil fields, and they've made that fact abundantly clear.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Still, that doesn't remove the fact that if you look in the dictionary for the word douche-bag, you will likely see a vivid color photo of him.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Polo

        No my friend, because Bush is a Dumb-ass.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Nalli.oni

        don't try to twist this into a discussion about Bush!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hey man, I don't know if he slept with your wife or something, but I measure the quality of a leader by the living conditions of the majority of the people living under him or her, not whether or not I have a notion that he's a "douchebag". In Venezuela, for the vast majority, living conditions have improved considerably, for the poor majority since 1998. For the rich, there's no end of criticism of Chavez, but I'm not too concerned for them, they can always buy themselves a better life. While there are certainly plenty of valid critiques of the Chavez regime, having driven a couple of Venezuelan Corollas, I don't think national control of the factories could make anything worse! He's a character, but I think most people just think "Chavez == Bad" because Bush and Hillary told them so. Merry Xmas!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Thank you . Well chosen words. Did they let a freak out of the bag at Fox News to write this article?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I read Autoblog for the car news, and usually tend to agree on opinions of my fellow car enthusiasts on here, but man, every time a political story is posted, the right wing nutjob neo-cons come out of the woodwork. I'll stick to the non-political stories from now on.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Apparently none of them have a job so they spend their time here looking for some reason to attack (a) Obama, (b) Unions, or (c) electric cars. Seriously. Most of these guys are creeps, racists (there's a reason autoblog stopped featuring black celebs cars here), and outright ignorant.
      invisiblepigeon3
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yes, they're some of the best copycats of western technology ever! Brilliant communists. www.chinasmack.com Go talk with some of your fellow red countrymen, and see how "smart" they are. Idiot.

        • 5 Years Ago
        @invisiblepigeon3
        rofl
      • 5 Years Ago
      As Venezuela chooses to isolate itself from the rest of the world, the rest of the world will choose to isolate itself from Venezuela. It's only a matter of time before Venezuela becomes another North Korea (especially if the oil wells run dry) where people are jobless and one man at the top thinks he knows everything best.

      Once he dies the country's "socialist utopia" will fall apart at the hands of BP, Shell and Exxon-Mobil.
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