Xie Penghong, deputy director of the Department of Automotive Industry at China's Ministry of Machinery Industry, met in Beijing recently with Automotive News Publisher and Editorial Director Keith Crain, Associate Publisher and Editor Peter Brown, Asia Editor James B. Treece, and Automotive News Europe Editor Richard Johnson. Here are edited excerpts of his comments.
What role do exports have in your plans?
First we have to see if our cars are competitive in international markets. It's the quality-price ratio. As the government, of course, we encourage our automakers to participate in this competition in the world market.
In a U.S. or Japanese auto plant, about 3,000 workers produce 250,000 cars a year. Your plants have many more workers producing much fewer cars. How do you change that?
It's a hard fact of economics. Many of these redundant workers will have to be transferred to the tertiary sector. Or companies (now building cars) will switch to making components. It will happen every day, slowly over time.