Der Spiegel

Chinese Open First Car Plant in Europe
Der Spiegel

It used to be that European carmakers opened plants to assemble their cars in China. Now the Chinese have turned the tables with the opening of their first factory in Bulgaria, an EU country with low labor costs and taxes. Increasingly, Chinese carmakers are setting their sights on the European and American automobile markets.

Great Wall this week became the first Chinese automobile manufacturer to open an automobile assembly plant inside the European Union in the latest move suggesting the country’s carmakers are seeking to establish a beachhead into the European market. For years, European carmakers like Volkswagen have established large joint ventures in order to gain footholds in the Chinese market, but now the tables appear to be turning.

Bulgaria, the EU’s poorest country, is attractive as a labor market because it is an oasis of cheap wages and low taxes. Workers are considered well educated and the country is ideal as the site for a company like Great Wall to launch. Given that wages for factory workers have risen considerably in China in recent years, assembly sites abroad have become increasingly attractive for some manufacturers.

Le Québec c’est un peu la Bulgarie de l’Amérique du Nord, nous ne sommes pas très riches et la population est relativement bien éduquée. Mais ici il est difficile d’attirer des compagnies étrangères à cause de la fiscalité, de la réglementation, de la syndicalisation, etc. Dommage…

M’enfin, la Bulgarie démontre que, contrairement à ce qu’affirment les gauchistes, la mondialisation ne se fait pas à sens unique.