16 Sep Wei Jianjun, the Great Wall chairman who wants to broaden empire
The Financial Times, August 25, 2017
His workers endure two weeks of military training before they join. They march single file to their jobs, then to the lunch room, and march out again when their shifts end.
Wei Jianjun, chairman of Great Wall Motor, China’s seventh largest carmaker, was not in the military, but there is little doubt who inspires him.
Mr Wei’s father spent years in China’s People’s Liberation Army. In 1990 the elder Mr Wei’s then 26-year-old son invested in a struggling car company in the northern city of Baoding, with 60 employees.
Bill Russo, a former Chrysler executive who is managing director of Gao Feng Advisory in Shanghai, says Great Wall has accomplished a lot, considering it is a private company in an industry dominated by state companies, which get government help.
“Chairman Wei is a manufacturing guy, a hardware guy. He knows how to put the metal together better than the average Chinese brand,” says Mr Russo.