“Detroit of China” can in the future be “Wuhan of USA”
Even if Wuhan sometimes is compared with Detroit and even called “Detroit of China” this is a comparison that in many ways is wrong. While the city of Wuhan is a booming city with a car industry that has since 1970 been growing stronger and stronger but at the same timeline, we are sorry to say, Detroit is a city that has been declining.
Located at the Yangtse River the capital of Hubei Province Wuhan has been one of China’s industrial and economical hubs for decades. If you make a circle of 2,000 kilometres with Wuhan as the centre point 80% of all cities in China will be inside.
The first automobile factory were opened in Changchun, capital of northeast China, in 1956.
In 1970 China decided to build a second automobile factory, Dongfeng, in the city of Shiyan in northwest Hubei and with the headquarter in Wuhan. From the beginning a Chinese plant but from 1992 this was a Chinese-French cooperation and the most famous model they make is the Fukang Shenlong which is a Chinese “Citroen”. Half of the taxis in Beijing are of this model.
Dongfengs first joint venture in 1992 with French-based PSA Peugeot Citroen and in September 2002 with Japanese Nissan when the president of Nissan Carlos Ghosn and the president of Dongfen Wei Miao announced this new alliance named Dongfeng Motor Co. Ltd. The goal is to sell 620.000 cars and trucks in 2007.
Another joint venture is with Honda. Dongfeng Honda Automobile Co Ltd presented the first Honda in September last year. The capacity of this plant will in the coming years be 120,000 cars annually and 2,800 people will work in this factory.
Dongfeng is a state-owned company and today one of China’s top three vehicle makers. This means also that more and more subcontractors is established in Wuhan which makes the city one of the most progressive industrial cities in China and one of the most important motor cities in the world.
In the faculties in the universities of Wuhan you find auto design, auto engineering and auto production combined with excellent human resources which is another guarantee that this city is going to be a successful motor city. In the future perhaps Detroit will be happy to call themselves “Wuhan of USA” instead of that Wuhan today sometimes is mentioned as “Detroit of China”.