SHANGHAI -- Recent moves by some major players signaled the beginning of a new era for China's electronics industry.
China no longer is merely a place to churn out low-tech, high-labor components. It is fast becoming an important source of automotive electronics for the global market.
Some signs of the change:
- Late last year, General Motors moved its global electronics purchasing office to Shanghai.
- Visteon Corp. announced recently that its global electronics group will be headquartered here.
- TRW has more than 40 people on a purchasing team in Shanghai.
"On the electrical mechanical side, in the future, I see a huge increase in sourcing from the Asia Pacific region," says Edward Carpenter, vice president of Asia Pacific for TRW Automotive Inc.
China is the center of that effort. Carpenter worked in TRW's purchasing office in the United States for five years before relocating to Shanghai last October. TRW's regional headquarters is in Shanghai, along with its regional research and development center.