“Man lives to realise his dreams and create value for society.”
The FCCC talked with Li Shufu, Chairman of the Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., the Chinese automotive manufacturing company that acquired Volvo Cars from Ford in 2010. Read the full interview here.
Chinese automotive company Geely mainly produces automobiles, motorcycles, engines and transmissions. In 2010, it acquired Volvo Cars from Ford. Chairman of the Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. Li Shufu talks about the future of the company.
What are your plans for the further development of Geely?
Li Shufu: “We intend to continue our company’s technological renewal; to further improve our staff training; to remain guided by market requirements and consumers’ needs; to improve the quality of our products and our staff; to add to the brand’s value; to step up our development of overseas markets and the company’s internationalisation; and make Geely an influential, competitive and respected company among the world’s top 500.”
Which companies do you consider to be your major competitors?
Li Shufu: “The main challenges are cultural differences and differences in corporate culture. However, both these types of differences can be overcome by efficient, comprehensive communication.”
What impact do you think Geely’s investment in Volvo will have in Belgium?
Li Shufu: “We hope our acquisition of Volvo will have all-round benefits in Belgium that make great contributions to Volvo’s rejuvenation.”
How do you envisage ‘green’ cars developing?
Li Shufu: “Environmental protection is a key objective orientation driving the development of the automotive industry. In this connection we need not only to improve fuel efficiency and reduce traditional cars’ carbon emissions, but also to press ahead with the development of vehicles powered by alternative energy.”
How would you propose solving the traffic problems in China’s cities?
Li Shufu: “I would suggest that local governments, rather than China’s central government, collect car tax; that significant improvements be made to basic local traffic infrastructure and the public transport system; that more car parks be built; and that more small cars be manufactured and popularised.”
What makes a good company executive?
Li Shufu: “Executives need to have strong commercial sense, master the patterns of economic development and the laws governing them, understand the market’s defining characteristics, be capable decision-makers, be strong-willed and also be good at finding, training and deploying exceptional personnel.”
What recommendations would you make to Belgian investors in China?
Li Shufu: “The Chinese market is very big, there are extensive prospects for businesses, and the conditions for foreign investment in China are very good. But investors must be fully prepared for the diversity of the Chinese market, will have to select a sound cooperation partner, commit to a long-term investment, and enhance the training and deployment of local talent.”
How would you sum up your personal philosophy?
Li Shufu: “Man lives to realise his dreams and create value for society.”
What do you like doing in your free time?
Li Shufu: “Reading and writing.”