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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Soros Investing $200 Million in Chinese Car Company Planning to Sell Cars, Trucks in U.S.

George Soros, billionaire investor and financer of major liberal activist groups like MoveOn.org, is reported by Automotive News to be arranging to invest $200 million in a joint venture with China's Chery Automobile Company to build cars for sale in the United States.

Automotive News says Soros has put $200 million in an escrow as he negotiates with Chinese officials and Malcolm Bricklin, a New York investment entrepreneur who once produced a sports car called the Bricklin. Bricklin the car did not sell well, but Bricklin the automotive entrepreneur has been involved in numerous ventures to import foreign vehicles into the states.

Bricklin formed Visionary Vehicles LLC in 2004 to import Chery vehicles and claims to have signed about 50 dealers to date. It's not clear what Bricklin's status would be if Soros completes his $200 million investment.

If Soros does become a principal investor in Visionary Vehicles, will he use his influence and contacts with high officials in the communist Chinese regime to pressure them to stop censoring dissidents using blogs and other forms of internet communication?

Automotive News is a subscriber-only industry publication. I've asked the web editor for a link for TCD readers and will post it here in an update if it is offered.