The crash of the US auto market has sped up the global auto industry's shift toward emerging markets, and no one is better poised to take advantage than the Chinese, the Wall Street Journal reports. Geely, one of the few Chinese auto firms that operate without a foreign partner, has emerged as a frontrunner to buy Volvo from Ford and experts believe it could be selling its own models to the US in less than 5 years.
Analysts say Geely—which has set up its own engineering colleges around China— appears to be readying itself to repeat Toyota's rise to the top of engineering, but on a vastly accelerated timescale. Many predict an eastward shift of jobs and talent similar to the move of Geely's research and development chief, who quit his job with Chrysler 5 years ago to help develop the auto industry in his native China. "I saw the end of Detroit," he says.