The Automotive News China Congress brought together some of the top leaders of the Chinese automaking and parts-making industries in Beijing during the week of Auto China, the nation's leading auto show.
Speakers covered everything from the realities of supplier parts in China, the growing luxury market and the environmental and practical woes of going so far, so fast.
Cheap Chinese auto parts? Maybe not
Costly shipping, raw materials negate low wagesConventional wisdom holds that China's suppliers can produce any part more cheaply than rivals in any other region. That's a myth, say auto executives who do business there. Costly raw materials, high transportation costs and a lack of domestic Chinese suppliers with modern manufacturing skills offset the benefit of cheap labor.
GM battles VW to be king of China
Automakers sprint to boost capacity in booming marketUpstart General Motors boldly is declaring that it wants to displace Volkswagen AG as the leader in China. "We believe GM can ultimately claim the largest share of this growing market," says Phil Murtaugh, CEO of GM China Group.
Luxury brands expect brisk sales
The Tai Temple has seen many changes in its centuries of existence. It was the ancestral temple for two dynasties of Chinese emperors. Under Communist rule, it became the "Beijing Laboring People Palace of Culture." Last week it assumed a new role as capitalism energizes China.
China's 'Young lions' will compete on price
Foreign carmakers that have tied their fortunes to China's "Married Lions" should keep their eyes out for the "Young Tigers," Michael Dunne, president of Automotive Resources Asia Ltd., told the Automotive News China Congress.
Automakers should consider the environment and the future now, Dongfeng chief says
Automakers in China need to become more environmentally sensitive and efficient to help sustain the growing market, warned Miao Wei, president of Dongfeng Motor Corp., Thursday at the Automotive News China Congress.
Honda has no plans to export China-built cars outside Europe
Honda Motor Co., which will export its China-built five-door Jazz to Europe early next year, has no plans to bring other vehicles manufactured in China to other markets.
Ford, Mazda mum on future China plans, for a reason
While General Motors gains on Volkswagen AG for leadership in China, Ford Motor Co. has been left pawing at the dirt like a bridled racehorse.
Ford unveils concept Focus in Beijing
Ford Motor Co. unveiled a concept version of the next-generation Focus sedan at the Beijing motor show, formally known as Auto China 2004.
Beijing Automotive interested in building Mitsubishi cars
Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co. would be interested in building Mitsubishi cars in addition to its SUVs, Beijing Automotive President Dong Yang hinted at the Automotive News China Congress.
Suppliers: DCX will assemble Chryslers in Beijing
DaimlerChrysler will assemble Chrysler-brand cars in a new Beijing Jeep plant, initially assembling kits, supplier sources say. The model has not been decided, but likely candidates are cars from the LH platform.
General Motors' spending in China spills over to U.S.
General Motors' plans to invest more than $3 billion with its Chinese partners, mostly in expanded China capacity, will benefit U.S. suppliers, according to GM China Group CEO Philip Murtaugh.
For Mitsubishi Motors Corp., "China is the second most important region for us," said Akira Kijima, senior executive officer in charge of r&d. "Number one is Japan, the domestic market."
GM China Group CEO Philip Murtaugh was asked at the Automotive News China Congress whether GM's intellectual property was protected adequately in China.
Overcapacity is a concern
The automakers' rush to China will exacerbate global overcapacity and lead to the export of more vehicles to western markets, a top labor official warned.
Lower wages for factory workers
Wage rates for factory workers in China are about one-seventh those in Korea. It's unlikely to change much soon.