Audio – Can Chinese car crashes be good for business?

February 25, 2008

herb1.jpgTurns out, they can! 

Global industrial companies have talked for years about the soaring demand in China for energy, infrastructure, machinery, know-how — you name it. But who knew car crashes could be good for business?

Well, according to Ingersoll-Rand CEO Herb Henkel, Chinese drivers’ poor safety record helps illustrate how China’s economy is becoming more consumer driven.

Chinese consumers are buying millions of new cars each year, and not all of those buyers are experienced drivers. In fact, 40 percent of all cars were involved in car accidents last year, Henkel told the Reuters Manufacturing Summit on Monday.

Body shops to fix all those smashed cars are springing up all over.

“You can imagine the opportunity that presents for air tools,” Henkel told the Summit. “For us, the activity level continues to be very robust (in China), focusing now on the consumer-driven in-country opportunities, rather than a lot of manufacturing being done for export. I think that’s the next stage they’ve gotten themselves to.”

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