The Grand Opening of the 6th Annual Global Automotive Forum


At 9:00 AM on June 9, the Sixth Annual Global Automotive Forum (GAF 2015) opened in the Chongqing Yuelai International Convention Center. The event was hosted by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Automotive Committee, the Organizing Committee of China Chongqing International Auto Industry Fair, and China Central Television. The Chongqing Municipal Government, the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, and the China Machinery Industry Federation were also sponsors of this event.

After 3 years in Wuhan and 2 years in Chengdu, this year’s Forum was located in Chongqing and marked the first year that the forum was held in the summer instead of the fall. The unique goal of the Forum was to convey clear information on the current state of the auto industry and brainstorm ideas for the future of China’s auto market, which is currently in the process of major transformation.

Wang Ruixiang, Chairman of China Machinery Industry Federation; Cheng Hong, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of China Central Television; Weng Jieming, Executive Deputy Mayor of Chongqing Municipal Government, and Wang Xia, Chairman of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Automotive Committee gave opening remarks at GAF 2015. The speakers highlighted the many achievements of the Chinese auto industry and expressed their hope that positive discussions could be held between Chinese and international delegates to explore the opportunities and challenges of the auto industry and to exchange ideas for the future.

According to statistics, the 2014 aggregated sales of major auto producers (China, the United States, Japan and Germany) reached 50.596 million with revenue of $2.49 trillion. China’s sales and production were 23.72 million and 23.49 million, respectively, making up over 40% of the global auto market. In the first quarter of this year, total production and sales for the four major producers reached 17.49 million and 16.72 million, respectively, an increase of 0.86% in production and 1.77% in sales. The Chinese market produced 8.28 million vehicles and vehicle sales of 8.14 million, increases of 4.12% and 2.77% on a year-over-year basis. Though Chinese growth is slowing, it still outpaces the average growth of the four major countries on the whole.

Wang Ruixiang, Chairman of China Machinery Industry Federation, thinks that in the future, China’s auto industry will focus on establishing a new framework that will promote technological cooperation, innovation, and resource sharing to build connectivity and inclusiveness. Meanwhile, Mr. Wang suggested that continued improvement of core industrial technologies, a focus on meeting market demands, and further integration with OEMs and suppliers would benefit the industry. He also recommended further cooperation across industries as a way to take advantage of complementary competitive advantages and to develop green and smart manufacturing systems.

In his opening remarks, Weng Jieming, Executive Deputy Mayor of the Chongqing Municipal Government, said that vehicle production and sales in Chongqing would peak at 5 million with an output value of 800 billion. In the first quarter of this year, sales volume was 1.257 million, an increase of 19.4% on a year-over-year basis with a total output value of 18 billion, an increase of 18%. Mr. Weng predicted annual production and sales in excess of 3.2 million and a total output value of RMB500 billion. As a result of the strong support of the auto industry, Chongqing ranks first in China and maintains average annual increases of over 12% and an output value of 10.7%.

From the global perspective, the Chinese auto industry now is experiencing a historic change from sunset industry to a sunrise industry. In reality, however, the global automotive industry never stops innovating.

To sum up the reasons behind these developments, Wang Xia suggested that a market shift from developed to developing countries has grown the global auto market and that China has been a leader in this market shift. He noted that this shift has allowed for the emergence of the Chinese market and has substantially aided the growth of the global auto industry. Secondly, Wang Xia suggested that the growth of automobile technology has given rise to new engines and even new energy vehicles. Going forward, smart vehicles will further strengthen the relationship between human and auto.

Major discussion topics at the GAF addressed key developments in the auto industry, the outlook and challenges in the global auto industry, the role of auto suppliers, the significance of the One Belt and One Road strategy and the future of new energy vehicles. Other topics included auto financing and leasing, China’s shift from workshop of the world to manufacturing powerhouse, smart cars, the auto aftermarket, and Industry 4.0. Discussions were also held on the impacts of global change on the German auto industry and the integration of China’s automotive industry into the world.

Global economic and industrial changes have forced the traditional auto industry into an era of restructuring. It is important for the industry to address these challenges to remain well positioned for the future. The topic of this year’s forum, Mega Change: Reshaping an Industry, aims to address these current issues. Wang Xia said, “It is a unique period with new problems, new opportunities, new technologies, new minds and new methods emerging one after another and creating universal puzzles for the future. We can communicate on the international level to develop a direction and strategy for the future of our operations.”

-Published on pages#11-13, July-2015 edition MOBILE WORLD Magazine