BRG Townsend's daily newsletter carries an interesting item today citing a report in the China Daily on the possible long-term effects of SARS on the Chinese economy. Zhang Zhongliang, a researcher at the China Economic Monitoring Center, told the newspaper that the SARS epidemic will have a serious adverse affect on China's exports for a long time, possibly years. He also believes that it could lead to - as it did during the economic meltdown of the late 1990s - changes in government leadership and a reshuffle of government. The really significant thing here is where that report is being published - The China Daily. China's leadership must be rattled by now. What will the economic AND political side-effects of SARS be? Carmakers and suppliers need to keep abreast of what could be a fast-moving situation. The Chinese people probably aren't all that pleased with the way the Chinese government has handled things.