Corona Situation Room #1 CHINA-EU Automotive Industry Updates

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On April 29th I moderated the first “Corona Situation Room” with selected experts from the automotive industry in China and EU.

The reason for this new format of the CAR Institute, organizer of leading conferences of the automotive and mobility industry in Germany and China, is the COVID19 crisis. Especially the global automotive industry with open markets as well as international supply chains and just-in-time strategy is facing extraordinary challenges. This initiative aims to offer orientation and support for the automotive industry in managing the COVID19 crisis and to improve the German-Chinese economic cooperation.

One expert from China and one from Germany, as well as a company representative, gave an update on the current situation. An open discussion with all speakers followed them.

Agenda corona situation room

Agenda Welcome and Introduction: Dr. Hans-Peter Kleebinder (University St. Gallen), Keynote speech Prof. Ferdinand Dudenhöffer (University St. Gallen), Keynote speech Zhixin Wu (VP Catarc), Keynote speech Erich Staake (CEO Duisburger Hafen AG), Discussion round, Conclusion and Closing: Dr. Hans-Peter Kleebinder (University St. Gallen)

The briefing took place in an exclusive round (by invitation only) and will provide a first-hand exchange of information for and with decision-makers on current issues such as production, supply chain implications, digitization, and market demand trends.

Core questions

  1. Production and supply chains in Germany and China in times of Corona. What experiences have been made in China and Europe since the crisis broke out?
  2. What are the new challenges in the field of logistics?
  3. Case study Duisburg Port on German-Chinese cooperation in logistics
  4. What possibilities and measures are there to make up for lost potential after the shutdowns?


Discussion points

  • Will the trend towards globalization continue to increase or decrease?
  • What effects on the vertical range of manufacture and production costs can be expected?
  • How will a change in supply chains change logistics processes in the future, such as the principle of “just-in-time” and delivery routes air, rail, road, and water?

Zhixin Wu reported on the establishment of a new data management system to optimize and secure supply chains in China, the extension of state BEV funding and announced measures to optimize standards for the European automotive industry.

Erich Staake reported on the first train that arrived from Wuhan in Duisburg 10 days ago since the outbreak of the COVID crisis, the trend that more finished products are currently being transported by rail to China and the potential for optimizing the capacity utilization of freight trains in both directions.

Ferdinand Dudenhöffer predicted that China will emerge stronger from the COVID crisis as the locomotive of the global automotive industry. The USA remains unpredictable. Just in time will stay with stronger risk coverage and digitalization of the logistics chain.


Corona shows us the vulnerability of our global economic system, which is based on the division of labour, optimization of manufacturing, and especially labour costs, just-in-time production, and low-cost logistics processes.

60% of the participants came from China, 40% from Europe. Representatives from IBM, NIO, BMW, Huawei, CFLD German Desk, China Fortune Land Development, China International Promotion Agency, etc.

The final mood barometer among the 24 participants produced the following result:

How do you personally assess business development in the next 3 months?


  • 8% optimistic
  • 55% cautiously optimistic
  • 33% pessimistic
  • 4% very pessimistic

#coronarampup #reboot #automotiveindustry

The «Situation Room #2« will be on May 28th 11am (CET).

Information and application


Author: Dr. oec. Hans-Peter Kleebinder

Relevant Blog: China: The new global automotive leader