China day 7: (Shang)bye

With today being our last day in Shanghai, we all needed a free morning to prepare for our departure later this evening. Once we checked out of our hotel, we headed off to our business visits to the Shanghai Coca Cola bottling plant and to General Motors China.

The Shanghai Coca Cola bottling plant was built in 1998 and is the largest out of the 43 in China. Our visit started with a tour of the plant where we saw various production lines and learned how they package and bottle the various beverages under the Coca Cola brand, such as Coca Cola, Sprite, and Fanta. The first production line was bottling Coca Cola into cans. Here we learned that their production lines for cans can fill 1500 bottles per minute. Next, we saw a production line where all of the plastic bottles are produced in the plant and sent directly to the production line to be filled and packaged. After our tour, we went to watch a few videos and learned a bit more about Coca Cola’s history, including the history and transformation of the iconic Coca Cola bottle. We even got to enjoy a complimentary bottle of Coca Cola and take the glass bottle as a souvenir!

Anne Schneider, the Executive Director of the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation of General Motors (SAIC-GM), presented over the company and gave us insight on the Chinese market. She shared how GM adapted to appeal to the Chinese population and what the projections for Buick and Cadillac are. We had the rare opportunity to tour their facilities and see the cars being produced. They utilize very intricate machinery to create the parts of the car and employ workers to put everything together. This systematic process has the ability to produce 20 vehicles per hour. The employees have to meet a production goal each day and that number was based on a forecast of sales. GM was a fascinating company to visit since it’s such a large international corporation. We also got to participate in the meeting with a group of professors from various¬†universities in the States, so that was a different experience than before.

Lastly, we boarded a train to leave Shanghai. There were 4 beds per room so we grouped together and had a fun night talking and playing games. In 11 hours, we will be in Beijing!

-Darian Davidson and Vivian Luu