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.