By Jim Mann
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Additional info for Beijing Jeep: A Case Study Of Western Business In China
He went to work for American Motors, rising through the ranks until in 1977 he became vice president of international operations, the head of the company's overseas network. AMC, the nation's fourth-largest car manufacturer, had a tin-roofed plant in Venezuela and a new factory in Egypt. It did a lot of business in the Middle East and, in particular, in Iran, where the upper and middle classes had grown prosperous under the shah. If you put a suit on the Marlon Brando of Last Tango in Paris and cleaned him up a bit, you would come up with someone like Clare.
In 1898 Secretary of State William R. S. "' But those hopes of a huge Chinese market for American products had gone largely unfulfilled. In the first half of the twentieth century, China had been torn apart by revolution, Japanese invasion, and civil war. Even in the 1930s, when the United States became the leading trading partner of Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist regime, China never took up more than 2 percent of America's world trade. S. trade embargo forced China to turn to the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe for the goods it needed.
What could be more obvious? And yet, upon examination, each one of these assumptions was questionable. First and most important, the supposedly vast Chinese market Mao Tais and Friendship 55 was a myth. China was an extremely poor country. Its consumers didn't have the purchasing power and its state enterprises didn't have the foreign exchange necessary to buy large quantities of goods from the West—and it wasn't clear the situation would improve much for decades. One World Bank study estimated that in the mid-1980s, the amount available for consumer spending was less than $100 a year for each person in China—and that even if the Chinese economy were to enter a period of high growth, the figure in the year 2000 would be a little more than $200 per person.
Beijing Jeep: A Case Study Of Western Business In China by Jim Mann