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Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Getting It Wrong: Soros and Chinese Cars
Topic: WorldNetDaily
A June 12 WorldNetDaily article gets so many details wrong that you have to wonder if there is any truth to its main -- but unsupported -- claim.

The article begins by stating that conservative bogeyman George Soros is "considering pouring hundreds of millions into a Chinese state automaker with plans to begin dumping cheap exports on the U.S. market next year." The unbylined article offers no support for this claim other than its assertion that "WND has learned" it.

That statement contains another dubious claim: that the Chinese automaker Chery will "dumping cheap exports on the U.S. market." The article doesn't support that claim; it discusses only one Chery model the QQ minicar, then states that "The list price on the Chery is expected to be around $20,000 in the U.S." That actually sounds a little on the high side for a minicar -- hardly "dumping," which usually refers to imported goods being sold below cost. In fact, the price appears to refer to a different Chery model, the larger "crossover" V525, that will reportedly be the first Chery to be sold in the U.S. That car is described as "the features of a $30,000 car for under $20,000" -- which still doesn't necessarily meet the definition of "dumping" that WND raises.

The article also claims:

The "Chery" is a knockoff of the South Korean Spark, sold in the U.S. in partnership with General Motors. GM filed a lawsuit against Chery Automobile Co. for piracy of the car developed by its South Korean affiliate Daewoo.

Two things wrong here: 1) The Spark (also known as the Daewoo Matiz) is sold only in China, not in the U.S.; and 2) the lawsuit to which WND is presumably referring was settled last November.

The article also describes Soros and a fellow investor as "major proponents of global government and rabid environmentalists -- ironic, perhaps, given Cherys' plans to export into the U.S. and elsewhere gas-guzzling SUVs among other smaller vehicles." But the article doesn't describe what the purportedly "gas-guzzling" vehicles are.

It's a misleading mess of an article, the only apparent purpose of which is to smear Soros -- and given the article's factual errors and unsupported claims, it doesn't even do that well.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:39 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, June 13, 2006 11:05 AM EDT

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