China’s auto motive
Some of that investment is already bearing fruit. Geely threw a lifeline to the Alburybased DSI transmission company in March, paying $58 million for the company to secure its future. Geely has also said it will lift employee numbers and boost its research and development.
Carr says the Chinese are looking for highquality developed technologies and partnership arrangements.
‘‘And they know — I believe there is increasing awareness — that Australia provides the capacity to produce good results in those areas,’’ he says.
‘‘Eleven companies are now operating here that have come out from Australia.’’
CARR says research organisations such as the CSIRO and Geelong-based Deakin University are working on technologies that will be very attractive to the Chinese car industry.
‘‘In terms of light metals, composite materials and fuel systems, huge opportunities are opening up,’’ he says.
The local auto industry’s global reputation is helping, too.
‘‘We have a mature industry that might well be small in volume but is high in reputation,’’ Carr says.
Ultimately, diversification of the local component and car sector would help strengthen our industry and ensure its sustainability.
Chery ripe: Simon Crean (left) and Kim Carr tour the Chery Auto factory in Wuhu.