Chinese Automakers Seek US-Style Bailout

Country's carmakers look to Beijing as slowdown puts the brakes on sales
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2008 4:01 AM CST
A Chinese worker at a car lot shows off the keys to Chinese and foreign-made cars in Beijing last week.   (AP Photo/Elizabeth Dalziel)
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(Newser) – China's automakers are looking to emulate a new Detroit invention—a bailout, the New York Times reports. After years of rapid expansion, the industry has been hit by a sudden slowdown as confidence crashes both home and abroad. Executives are now quietly pressing Beijing for a US-style rescue package to boost demand and fund research into greener vehicles.

Chinese automakers have been raising production even as demand drops, alarming some experts, but most believe that the outlook isn't as bleak as it is for the US industry. Banks are still willing to lend money to Chinese auto companies, analysts note, and the industry has a central role in Beijing's plans to move the country's manufacturing industry toward pumping out advanced products.