Blog: Dave LeggettThe developing indigenous Chinese auto industry

Dave Leggett | 4 April 2003

Why do the Chinese want Western makers to make cars in China? Two reasons. 1. They want access to Western automotive manufacturing technology - technology that they don't have. Therefore they JV and learn. 2. They do not want to see future growing demand served by imports. Local operations - even if JVs - at least provide jobs and value-added inside China. But ultimately, the Chinese want to be designing and manufacturing their own cars without Western help. Western manufacturers should be under no illusions about that. Fast forward 10-15 years. The Chinese have moved up the learning curve and caught up with Western makers. They are benefitting from enormous scale economies and low manufacturing costs in their domestic industry. They are also gaining share globally - exporting to all major regions. The company that will lead the Chinese global drive hasn't even emerged yet, but it will.


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