BARCELONA -- China is educating huge numbers of people to exploit western technology, the Automotive News Europe Congress was told Thursday.
"In China last year, a staggering 46 percent of all degrees were gained in engineering, versus 5 percent in the US," said Joe Greenwell, CEO of Jaguar-Land Rover.
Greenwell warned that low-wage countries such as China are unwilling to remain low-cost "workshops" for western countries. "China has purpose and direction," Greenwell said.
To compete, western companies have to make goods of an even higher quality, said Greenwell.
"To achieve that, managements should invest in people and skills. That means new technologies and r&d," Greenwell said.
"The automotive industry is a cauldron of innovation and a magnet for other technically advanced industries," Greenwell said.
"Long term, those are the kind of industries we need to nurture in Europe."