General Motors believes a weak Japanese yen is a much bigger problem than a weak Chinese yuan for US manufacturers, GM executives said on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

The news agency said GM's stance on the yuan contrasts with many other US factory owners, who have said that China's weak yuan policy is costing them jobs and profits because it allows Chinese companies to flood the US market with cheap goods.

US president George W. Bush, under pressure from US manufacturers, will make a personal appeal to Chinese president Hu Jintao on Sunday to begin letting the open market determine the value of the Chinese yuan, Reuters said, noting that currently the yuan is pegged in a tight range around 8.28 to the dollar.

However, GM is not among those companies bitter about the yuan, which is also called the renminbi or RMB, the report said.

"I think the RMB is frankly not an issue for us, and the (Japanese) yen is," GM chief financial officer John Devine told Reuters at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan.

The news agency said that GM and other US car makers claim that Japan's intervention in the currency markets to weaken the yen against the dollar gives Japanese car makers an unfair advantage in the US market.

"We're asking for a fair playing field," Devine told Reuters, adding that the weak yen gives Japanese automakers a $US3,000 cost advantage per car.

"It gives the Japanese manufacturers a windfall profit."

Reuters said Bush has made clear his preference for less intervention by Japanese authorities to weaken the yen against the dollar while Devine said that the yen could strengthen to 100 to the dollar, or more, if Japan stopped intervening in the market.

Unlike Japanese cars, which command a large segment of the US market, there are no Chinese manufacturers selling cars in the US market and, in addition, GM has invested billions of dollars in China, which surpassed Germany this year as the world's third-largest market for new vehicle sales, and is only a few years away from topping Japan, Reuters said.

Since starting production in China in 1999, GM has grabbed an 8% share of the highly-profitable Chinese market, second to market leader Volkswagen, the first Western car maker to plunge into China decades ago, the report added.

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