Jianghuai Auto to court Japan's clean
"Emissions regulations are especially tough in Europe," said Wang Wenjun, who at the end of last month headed a Tokyo recruiting and research center for Jianghuai Auto, China's biggest exporter of light trucks and a newcomer to the sedan segment. "What we really need is people to help us with environmental technologies."
Hiromasa Torii, a 65-year-old retired Japanese auto engineer, worked for Jianghuai Auto in eastern China's Anhui province for three years through late 2009. He helped Chinese engineers select materials and experiment with different constructions to lighten vehicle weight, paid $10,700 a month for his expertise.
"Until four or five years ago, Chinese carmakers were just known for their ability to copy foreign brands' designs, but things have changed," Torii said in an interview. "These days, they want the most advanced technology."
Jianghuai Auto has poached "a few dozen" Japanese engineers since 2006. While the company also employs Italians and Germans at its Anhui headquarters, about 80% of its foreign engineers are Japanese.