Blog: Central/Eastern Europe
Dave Leggett | 30 January 2004
I spoke to journalist and researcher Mark Bursa yesterday. He'll be working on a just-auto members' management briefing for us for March that takes a close look at the automotive markets and industries of the countries of central Europe. Countries like Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary are becoming much more significant in auto industry terms and a good look at the region is timely of course, because a slew of countries from the area are joining the EU this year. I think they officially get on board the Brussels gravy train in May. I wonder what's being prepared on the ceremonial front? Maybe a tie-up with the Eurovision Song Contest is in order?
Also on the subject of eastern Europe, I spoke to just-auto contributor Ryan Tutak earlier this week. After more than a decade of slogging his guts out to make a living writing and researching the central and east European auto industry from Budapest, he's decided to return to the US - Ryan actually hails from Detroit. I was a little saddened by the news, but it's a bit of a fresh start for Ryan so I'm pleased for him personally. He knows the door is always open for him if he wants to write for just-auto.
Over the years he's written some superb features for just-auto from the region and I know he's very highly respected in the industry. And I'll never forget the run-in we had with some of Daewoo Motor's eastern European managers a few years back after we published a Ryan article ('We'll sue unless we get full retraction.' 'But these things were said by people who knew to whom they were speaking, we have it on record and we're not backing down.' 'Oh, okay we won't sue then.'). Here's hoping we still figure in Ryan's plans sometime in the future. We all wish Ryan the best of luck. Hopefully, I'll be able to catch up with him in London on his way back to mo'town.
I'm starting to get a small idea of the scale of things here in China, but really, I'm only scratching the surface of this vast country....
Given the startling complexity of obtaining a journalist visa for China - the code 'J2' is now indelibly stamped on my mind - it was with some surprise how swiftly I managed to sail through airport im...