The giant orange robotic arms that swiftly weld together car frames at the Great Wall Motors factory in Baoding might seem like the perfect answer to China's fast-rising labor costs - they don't ask for a raise, get injured or go on strike.Read it at Reuters
For Great Wall, a private sector Chinese car maker that employs 50,000 workers, the Swiss robots and other machinery that line its bright factory floor produce more than cost savings. The company hopes they will help it build cars good enough to compete with the global auto makers.
"You don't have to be an expert see the (quality) gap between Chinese cars and those made by companies like Audi and Volkswagen," said Li Shaohui, who oversees automatic control engineering for the company. "To beat those competitors we have no choice but to use a higher level of equipment and technology."
China Factory Robots: Country's Industrial Sector Increasingly Runs By Machine
by Don Durfee
Well, I guess that resolves the question of whether a global supply of low-cost lbor will prevent rapid automation. To be competitive in a world market, companies all over the world have to stay abreast of technological innovation and match consumer expectations based on standard setters.
Obsolescent technology translates to falling rate of profit as customers prefer goods of innovators. This results in malinvestment in the sense of underutilized capital in light of advances in productivity.