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You people are all stupid. I'll be blunt and frank.|
US car makers have actually produced a long list of very good, very popular cars (not SUVs), with high reliability, excellent mileage and so on. The major problem is that American car manufacturers, unlike every other American corporation are totally inept marketers.
Both GM and Ford have far too many brands and too many cars under those brands. This means that instead of selling one car once, they have to sell the same car as many as 4 times, one for each badge. At the same time this practice, which goes by the term "badge engineering", dilutes the image of each brand. GM actually produces excellent cars, a good slate of them are or have been better than Toyota's vehicles and no less reliable. However, they have to promote each one across several brands and hence can't really communicate how good the vehicles are; since they can't do this, they can't dismiss their reputation from the 1970s and 1980s of producing vehicles that are simply bad.
To make this problem worse, they have an awesome capacity to hang themselves by killing really good cars because they aren't high margin vehicles. Hence good passenger cars will get killed in order to shift resources towards producing more SUVs (for example).
The reason that China shouldn't be looking at buying any car companies is contained in this story and their experience with Rover. The fact is that the Chinese are even worse with branding and will instantly kill any brand they buy or will simply buy a brand that is toxic all by itself. If China even tried to buy a US company there would be infinite backlash and, worse, the entire brand would become toxic overnight. That's why I originally suggested Buick as a safe buy for China: they're apparently aspirational vehicles for a large segment of Chinese society, their US brand presence really isn't important (it is now seen as "your grandparent's car") and the marque does contain solid cars. The brand is perfect for China because it won't suffer from being in their hands and isn't worth much to anyone else anyhow. They can buy it cheap and grow the domestic Chinese market for it.
With everything else, China's just asking to be whipped like no one's business.