A dispatch from Shanghai in the New York Times gives an amazing glimpse into the workings of General Motors, the automaker that received a multi-billion-dollar bailout from taxpayers. The Times reports from a billion-dollar GM factory in China that appears to be staffed mainly by robots:
Hundreds of robots bend, arch and twist to assemble the body of Cadillac's new flagship CT6. Lasers seal the car's lightweight aluminum exterior using techniques that the carmaker, General Motors, has only just introduced in the United States. Yardlong, bright yellow robots like mechanical Alaskan huskies tow five-foot-tall carts of auto parts to the assembly line.
The cars made by robots in China will be shipped to America for sale to American customers, the Times reports.
G.M. is already preparing to start shipping a new car-based sport utility vehicle, the Buick Envision, from China to the United States, from a factory in northeastern China. The arrival of the Envision, which is being built only in China, Buick's biggest market by far, will be the mass market debut of Chinese-built cars in Big Three showrooms in the United States.