The Reasoned Review

Just another weblog

24/7 Factories Can’t Meet Chinese Demand

leave a comment »

Bloomberg with a terrifying report:

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) — Nissan Motor Co.’s factory in central China is making cars almost 24 hours a day, yet Pan Xiaowei still waited three months for her new Tiida compact to arrive at the dealership.

“It wasn’t like this a couple of years ago,” said Pan, 34, whose husband runs a property development company in Shandong province. “We used to buy and get a car straight away, and now you have to pre-order and wait.”

China overtook the U.S. last year as the world’s largest automobile market with sales surging 46 percent to 13.6 million, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Nissan, Ford Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. are running their Chinese factories at full capacity, with overtime and weekend shifts, and still can’t deliver enough cars.

“Based on our current growth rate and planning assumptions, the capacity of our two facilities will not be able to accommodate the expected future demand for our products,” Nigel Harris, general manager of Ford’s venture with Chongqing Changan Automobile Co., said in an e-mail.

This is not good. The article also mentions that cars are “ceasing to be a luxury item and are instead becoming a standard consumer product.” And there’s 1000 million of them.

Incidentally, China is already dealing with some major traffic issues, as the Daily Mail demonstrates:

I imagine they’ll be seeing more of this. A few weeks ago, The Nation ran a correspondence piece from Christopher Hayes in China entitled “The Great Leap“. In the opening paragraphs he lets us in on the magnitude of China’s automobile frenzy:

At a tour of a car factory in Chongqing, the guide from Chang’an Motors pointed to the boxy gray minivans rolling off the assembly line and, beaming, said, “There are 800 million Chinese peasants who need these cars!”

He’s right, of course. China “should not be expected to stay forever as a bicycle kingdom,” as Yu Qingtai, special representative for climate change negotiations, told us. But 800 million new cars–think about that for a moment.

Until we shake off this neo-imperial paradigm of “development”, I fear the “third-world” will forever be deceived into chasing an impossible dream, and irrevocably poison themselves in doing so.

Written by pavanvan

January 24, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: