A giant Chinese trainmaker hits the buffers abroad

LIKE MANY towns with an industrial heritage, the transformation of a factory that had stood derelict for decades into a shiny modern manufacturing site might seem a welcome development. But in Springfield, Massachusetts, famous for the rifles produced at its National Armoury, the arrival of a Chinese trainmaker has hit the buffers.

It is not that Springfield has no history of trainmaking; two centuries ago it built some of the first American-made railway carriages to replace British imports. The need for a local manufacturing base is what led CRRC, the world’s biggest producer of locomotives and rolling stock, to set up shop there in 2017. Since then it has been attacked by the press as a threat to American jobs and national security. The firm was subsequently clobbered with tariffs on imported parts, and recently denied an exemption. Lawmakers in Washington, DC, are now trying to prevent federal funds from being spent on its trains.

Some of the hostility is down to CRRC’s sheer size. Founded in 2015 from the merger of China’s two biggest train manufacturers, CRRC controls over 90% of the Chinese railway market—which also happens to be the world’s biggest. With its domestic business cornered, the company set its sights on expansion abroad. Liu Hualong, CRRC’s chairman, went about this by setting up overseas subsidiaries...

via Business Feeds

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