Blog: JD Power conference
Dave Leggett | 13 April 2007
Spent a useful day out in London yesterday at the JD Power Automotive Forecasting conference. The presentations were all good and I've picked a few things for news articles today (below links). Plus there were a few old faces and friends to catch up with. Everyone on good form.
Rob Simon was still very good for a few laughs and remembers that picture I took of him in Stuttgart a few years back. I think he said there's a framed photo in his office, or maybe it was his living room. The 'On Top' bier garten has some even bigger vessels from which to imbibe these days, shaped like a boot, I believe. Alex Woodrow has failed in the boot challenge, I think, in that he merely rented the contents...(sorry Alex, couldn't resist that one).
Heinz Schmitz, Stadco's Russian manager gave an excellent presentation - very simple, very open about his company's strategy and for anyone thinking of investing in Russia, he had plenty of tips.
JD Power's Eastern Europe specialist Carol Thomas gave us an extremely comprehensive overview on Eastern Europe that even included some Gini coefficient data to illustrate income inequality in Russia. Way to go! Income inequality in Moscow is on a par with that of Brazil, apparently. Not bad going for a country whose creed was 'everyone equal' until not all that long ago. And did you know that Russia's population is falling at an alarming rate, with the death rate among adult males at a particularly worrying level? Life expectancy in Russia for males is down to just 58 years.
Interesting to hear how the Russian car market is developing into two groups: a growing upper middle class who exhibit buying behaviour not unlike consumers in western Europe, and a large group looking for the cheapest form of basic transportation.
Found myself telling a group of bemused looking people over cocktails about my meeting with 'Yogi' Behr, Cannonball Run winner in '72. That guy really was something else.
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...