DETROIT -- 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.
"None of the companies are considering the consequences: overcapacity and re-importation into the western markets," said Juergen Peters, president of the International Metalworkers Federation, last week at a union conference here. The federation represents 25 million metal workers in 100 countries. Peters also is president of the IG Metall union in Germany.
The federation forecasts that production will outstrip local demand in China significantly by 2007. It predicts production capacity of 6.4 million vehicles vs. demand for 3.1 million units in 2007.