“We have already gone beyond the traditional concepts of talent and we are trying to attract inter-disciplinary talent" - BAIC deputy general manager Cai Suping

“We have already gone beyond the traditional concepts of talent and we are trying to attract inter-disciplinary talent" - BAIC deputy general manager Cai Suping

BAIC says it is looking to attract a new range of talent to its workforce as its business model gradually adapts to that of both manufacturer and service provider.

The Chinese automaker is heavily involved in new energy vehicles, which are becoming increasingly important in a country regularly prone to gridlock and pollution in its gigantic cites, but is also looking to the mega-trends currently shaping the industry.

"With artificial intelligence and other revolutions, they will revolutionise the automotive industry, so talents in our industry will be redefined," said BAIC deputy general manager, Cai Suping at the recent Global Automotive Forum in the Mid-West China city of Chongqing.

"We have already gone beyond the traditional concepts of talent and we are trying to attract inter-disciplinary talent. We will face global competition and BAIC has the confidence and capability to embrace this challenge. In the future, cars will use new energies, be connected and shared. The world is experiencing a green energy revolution.

"We are trying to transform from a manufacturer to a service provider. As a pioneer in new energy vehicles, we have put forward the strategy of leading [the] new energy vehicle [sector]. We are trying to make the car lighter and more intelligent and driven by electricity."

The BAIC deputy general manager recently visited Europe to evaluate some technologies in the West and spent some time in research and development centres as well as with component manufacturers. The agenda also featured trips to a high strength steel mill and a light aluminium alloy plant.

"It all comes down [to] how good your service is," added Suping. "For an OEM we need to introduce a new concept of service."

BAIC is not just confining itself to China either with its anouncement it plans to start exports of electric passenger vehicles to Mexico this month as part of a broader move to expand into global markets, according to local reports.

The company said it will export 100 built-up EU300 electric passenger cars to Mexico every month, with shipments expected to continue for at least a year.

The cars will be used as taxis in Mexico City, with the local taxi association encouraged by the municipal government to help reduce air pollution in the country's capital city.

The EU300 has a range of 300km on a single charge. Its batteries can be swapped for fully-charged units in three minutes, helping to reduce operational down-time for taxi operators and other users.

BAIC plans to build up to 3,000 battery swap stations across China to encourage domestic sales of these vehicles. The company said it has already built 100 outlets in four major Chinese cities as of March this year.

BAIC is also actively looking to expand its EV sales in South-east Asia, Western Asia and South Africa.

The company has invested US$830m in a new 150,000-unit/year vehicle assembly plant in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, which is scheduled to become operational this month.

The facility, the largest overseas investment for the company to-date, will also export to other markets in the region.

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