It is in this city that the tricolor car manufacturers have installed most of their industrial facilities in China.

Made visible on the map of China by global health concerns, the megalopolis of Wuhan, 11 million inhabitants, which has become the epicenter of the spread of a deadly new virus, has hitherto been known mainly for much less reasons. distressing. The huge city bordered by the Yangzi River is, in fact, one of the hubs of the country’s automotive industry, a sort of Detroit of the Middle Kingdom.

A dozen large assembly plants are located there, totaling a theoretical annual production capacity of more than 2 million vehicles, roughly equivalent to the sales of new cars in France in 2019. However, Wuhan is now in operation quarantine, cut in its main links with the rest of the world, and this is good news neither for the Chinese automobile industry in general nor for French manufacturers in China in particular.

Wuhan is first of all the city of Dongfeng, one of the four major car manufacturers in the country (with SAIC, FAW and Changan). This state-owned enterprise, which is also a supplier of armored vehicles to the Chinese army, set up its headquarters under Mao in this provincial capital in the center of the country. And who says Dongfeng, says French manufacturers in China.

In the city, Citroën taxis

PSA, in particular, made Wuhan its Chinese base from the 1990s. A historic establishment symbolized by the city’s taxis, all of Citroën brand. The French manufacturer has three factories there, as part of the joint venture that the group has created with Dongfeng, which is also one of its key shareholders. For much less time (2016), Renault has also been running a factory in Wuhan, still in partnership with the ubiquitous Dongfeng.

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The latter also has its own factories and two large sites as part of a joint venture with the Japanese Honda. To complete the picture, we must add all the production centers of the fifteen equipment manufacturers who support the manufacturers’ factories, including the three major French players, Faurecia (four factories and a research center), Valeo and Plastic. Omnium (two factories and one research center each).