Luke Burgard – May 31st 2015.
What a day! They say early bird gets the worm, well we woke up early and we got a little more than a worm!! Our bus left our hotel in ShangHai just before 6:00 am on route to the Geely Automobile Manufacturing Plant just outside of the coastal city of Ningbo. Exhausted from the previous day’s activities, the bus was full of students snuggled in their seats using the three-hour journey to catch up on sleep. Those who managed to stay awake stared out the bus window at the hills, rice paddies, and water. When I say water, I mean a lot of water, a whole lot of water. We crossed the East China Sea on what is known as the world’s largest bridge across ocean water.
When we arrived at the Geely manufacturer/assembly plant we were greeted by several friendly people. We started off in a showroom that housed each of the models that Geely produces. I found it very interesting to learn that Geely is the producer of taxis in Great Britain and the new producer of police cars in China – highly visible, big markets for brand development. Currently Geely produces several small sedans and cross-over SUV vehicles. Their plan is to enter the European market within the next year and enter the United States within 5 years. In order to support their efforts to pass safety regulations across the globe, Geely recently acquired the Swedish car company Volvo. With the knowledge and guidance of Volvo, I believe that the possibilities are limitless for Geely.
After exploring the show room and getting in and out of the cars, we had the rare opportunity to walk the floor of the assembly line. We watched men and women put vehicles together. We saw everything from engines to windshields and brake lines to dashboards put inside of the cars. It was amazing to see a car being built from start to finish in about an hour. Going to the Geely plant was an amazing experience and it has inspired me to visit other car manufacturing plants in the states.
Going to the Geely plant took up a large chunk of our Sunday and we were unable to attend church. So we had a little church service on the bus. The fact that a group of 20 Americans were able to worship Jesus for two hours on a small bus traveling through China is a testimony to how big our God is. With no band or microphones to urge on the singing our praises were still loud. There was no pulpit or stage to speak from but God still spoke to us. Our great God has no bounds. Not in China, not on a bus, not anywhere.