Lou Ann Hammond talks to John Batchelor, host of the John Batchelor Radio Show on KFI 640 AM from the 2008 Beijing auto show.
– 1 billion 1st time car buyers in China
– Only 45 million cars on the road
– You can only drive between the ages of 18-65 (the day you turn 65 you can no longer drive)
– Only about 10% of people finance (no credit bureau)
– There is no defaulting on loans in China
– China is starting to restrict financing to keep inflation in check, without a slowdown. China says it is not immune to the US recession and is trading more globally depending less on the US.
– Congestion is a big issue in Shanghai and Beijing
– General Motors was first in sales of passenger vehicles because of Wuling (think Microbus)
– VW Santana was the best selling car in 2007
– In 2007 SUV sales increased by 50%!
– Rick Wagoner helped open the China Automotive Energy Research Center which will support the development of a national automotive energy strategy specifically for China
– China is not beholden to the internal combustion engine
– 4-5 years ago they set up research and development for EV cars. GM showed its EV cars. They will build the Buick Lacrosse Hybrid here in China.
– Toyota sells Prius here but manufacturers in Japan
– China supports nuclear, aka hydrogen and electricity.