An Executive Search firm overview of the Automotive Industry in China

“China is the world’s largest automobile producer and consumer. It has a complete industrial system, diversified market demand and the capacity for self-recycling and strong economic recovery. China’s auto industry will overcome difficulties and achieve steady and healthy development.”

Xin Guobin, Chinese vice minister of industry and information technology.

Zavala Civitas has specialists in various industries and verticals, this allows our consultants to fully understand the needs of the company in question and provide quality services.

As of 2009, China is the world’s largest producer of automobiles and the automotive market. More than 80% of the world’s automotive supply chain is connected to China. The country produces, in a year, more vehicles annually than the European Union, the United States and Japan combined, more than 32% of all vehicles produced globally. China’s domestic automobile production is expected to reach 35 million cars by 2025, according to data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

The importance of this market makes it highly competitive in terms of talent as well. An executive search firm, when looking for senior management positions for this sector, must look for not only strong soft skills, but also very specific hard skills and experience, which makes it difficult to find talent for this sector and is the reason why most companies choose to hire executive search firms.

As an executive search firm with over 20 years of experience, we identify that the automotive sector is undergoing a rapid and radical change due to intense global competition. Consumers are demanding increasingly stringent quality and safety standards, complex technology and design elements, as well as products with strong environmental credentials, in addition to the need for profitability, high volume and high production speed.

This industry must adapt to a rapidly changing environment and the COVID-19 pandemic is an extreme example of how fast things may go.

During the pandemic, the automotive sector in China was one of the hardest hits due to supply chain disruptions and led to changes in purchasing habits and a disruption of the mobility playing field. The Chinese government has taken actions to support the automotive industry. These actions include delaying the implementation of China’s Six Emission Standard until January 2021, offering tax and fiscal support, accelerating the phase-out of obsolete diesel trucks, and improving marketing channels for second-hand vehicles.

According to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic caused a 47.6% year-on-year decline in Chinese auto sales in April. However, the country’s new-energy vehicle market bucked the trend and continued its rapid expansion, with sales up 44.6% year-on-year.

At this point, the most important quality to look for in the upper management of this sector is the ability to transform crisis into opportunity. China’s automotive industry continues to face unprecedented pressure, and the industry must continue to take active measures to secure supply and boost consumption. Companies that can take advantage of these can develop a clear competitive advantage and lead the recovery. 

Automotive companies require adaptable leaders with the necessary management skills, an international and entrepreneurial mindset, and the ability to lead strategy and change if they are to meet the complex challenges ahead. We are Zavala Civitas an organizational consulting and executive search firm specialized in the Chinese market; you can contact us for any further information.

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