SHANGHAI — Parts from China are still overwhelmingly low-tech items, such as stampings, forgings and electrical devices.
But as Chinese engineering expertise grows, that is changing. China is beginning to develop more sophisticated parts for global markets.
Take interiors. Chinese motorists are among the world's most picky when it comes to trim, comfort and amenities. From its Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center for product design in Shanghai, General Motors is trying to meet the expectations of Chinese customers. And motorists in America have benefited.
"The skills we have developed here have enabled us to raise our game in other markets," says Joseph Liu, vice president of vehicle sales and marketing for GM Asia Pacific.
For example, the back portion of the American Cadillac CTS now features slimmed-down seats for extra roominess, together with independent controls for rear-compartment air conditioning. Both features were developed for China.