rely on a product- hungry home market and a captive export market. Following the end of World War II, the British public saw no private car production for six years. Steel was in very short supply and the country was close to financial disaster. The only tooling available was for pre-war vehicles and the government would only release raw materials to companies who could meet very high export quotas. In this unhealthy climate, British car companies, forced to export, relied almost totally on countries from the old British Empire for customers. Out- of- date British cars were at first bought by customers who had limited access to newer models, but quite soon these pre-war cars lost popularity. The only cars that continued to find customers were British sports cars from MG, Triumph and Austin Healey. But the comparatively limited market for such specialist models did not make a good business basis for survival. This reliance on outdated models, or limited production specialist vehicles signalled the beginning of the decline of the British automotive industry. When one looks at the recent history of two of the world's largest vehicle producing countries, Japan and South Korea, it can be seen that Japan took almost 40 years to become a producer of high quality cars. By international perception, Korea, after 25 years in the auto business, has not quite reached the same level as Japan, although in the last five years it has made great progress. I do not believe that China needs or wants to wait that long to develop experience. The Chinese automotive industry is in an enviable position whereby it can bypass Western established car cultures and market norms. China can make a technological leap right now. There is an opportunity to carefully consider both public and private transportation needs and to develop models that will satisfy those requirements, both for the home market and for newly developing overseas markets. A bright future I believe the Chinese industry will need to produce competitive vehicles for export, but it has to be very realistic about its chosen market sectors. Simple, inexpensive, but practical, safe and desirable products for newly developing markets will be a much more attractive sales " I do not believe China wants to wait as long as Japan and Korea have to develop experience"