Following news that DHL Supply Chain is helping Jaguar Land Rover in its export of knockdown (KD) kits from Halewood in the UK for assembly in India (read more here), the logistics provider has said it also hopes to support carmakers with similar activity in China.
“This is the start of a number of KD-type operations that we are hoping to be a key part of,” said DHL’s managing director of Automotive in the UK and Ireland, Paul Dyer, who also heads the company’s Global Automotive division.
DHL is eager to build up a better inbound-to-manufacturing (I2M) presence in China, something for which it is well established in developed markets but which it is lagging behind on in newer growth markets.
The company is predominantly involved in the aftermarket and finished vehicle sectors in China, working with Volvo, Ford and Bosch in running parts distribution centres. It also runs a finished vehicle import centre at Tainjin on the north coast.
“We are strong on the ground in terms of transportation, but we don’t currently have any in-plant activity,” admitted Dyer. “Part of our challenge at a global level is to recruit a local Chinese national from an I2M background to help us get a better presence there.”
Dyer also told Automotive Logistics that DHL had to push automotive as a priority in China. “China is growing for us across multiple sectors, so it’s a case of convincing our business out there that automotive is a priority sector against other areas,” he said. The Global Automotive division is assuring the wider company that it will invest in automotive expertise on the ground and make sure it has the capability to transfer expertise in when it is needed on the in-plant side of the business, Dyer added.
The move to strengthen its business in China and India is part of a wider push across emerging markets including Brazil (where it works with Ford), Latin America, Thailand and Russia.
“We’ve got some good capability inmost of those places, both in I2M and the aftermarket. Perhaps Russia is the only one where we haven’t got any I2M activity. It is mainly aftermarket and it is the one remaining area along with China where we’ve got to get some I2M case studies and operations going and capitalize on the opportunities,” said Dyer.