Further indications that China’s automotive sector is seeking foreign expertise have come this week with confirmation of a high-level mission to Europe from Beijing Changjiu Logistics, China’s biggest private automotive logistics company and a provider of services to some of the country’s biggest OEMs, including First Auto Works (FAW).
The chairman and several senior managers from Beijing Changjiu Logistics will be attending the Automotive Logistics Europe conference, to be held in Bonn, Germany on 1-3 March, in search of partnerships that will help developments in China.
Bo Shijiu, board chairman, will be joined by vice general manager Dr Chen Gang and other executives from the Changjiu Industry Group.
In the week when China’s economy was officially recognised the second biggest in the world, overtaking Japan, this is the second mission in recent months to use contacts made via Automotive Logistics to reach out toWestern expertise.
Last September, FAW along with Dongfeng and domestic LSPs such as Guangzhou Fengshen Logistics visited the offices of Automotive Logistics in London as part of a European mission organised by the automotive branch of the China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing (CFLP).
At that time, FAW’s Sun Jing, manager of finished vehicle logistics, said that China’s government had committed to supporting the most important OEMs in raising standards. “We believe that we can also set a good example for the rest of the sector as a leading logistics provider,” she said.
Ouyang Jie, chairman of the automotive arm of the CFLP’s activities, as well as being a vice president of Dongfeng Motor, added that logistics costs would only continue to rise unless there was much greater effort to improve standards.
“We believe there are some cultural differences between Western and Chinese companies, and that those differences are down mainly to standards,” Ouyang said. “We are only just beginning to address these issues, but we believe they are important as logistics costs continue to rise. The industry has to ask itself how it can add value.”
In related news, Toyota’s recently-appointed European logistics chief Levent Yuksel has also confirmed his attendance at the Automotive Logistics Europe conference.Yuksel took on his new role as director of production parts and vehicle logistics in January, in a move that brought inbound and outbound together in a single management structure.
Other confirmed attendees to the conference include the global/European logistics chiefs or senior logistics executives from Audi, BMW, Daimler, Fiat, Ford, GM, Honda, Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, Mitsubishi, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Renault Nissan, SEAT and VW. The high and heavy sector includes executives from JCB and Iveco, while among the newcomers are Harry Doms, logistics director for Europe and Asia of Tesla Motors.
Automotive Logistics Europe this year has a larger, more modern venue chosen to further enhance the networking and information-sharing provided by the meeting. Registrations are open until the end of the conference.