Welcome to the land of dragons. Well, I haven’t seen any dragons… yet. Nonetheless, some of Shanghai’s skyscrapers –especially the Shanghai Tower at about 2067 feet tall- are as impressive as a dragon would be. My first thoughts when arriving here was just “Wow!!”
This city is incredibly modern. Starting with our trip from the airport on a highway much more modern than any I’ve seen in Germany, everything looked on the cutting edge. Still, despite some of the ‘wow-effect’ skyscrapers, I can’t tell you much about Shanghai; I haven’t had time to discover the city yet, but as soon as I do I’ll report it to you.
So far, I can only say that Shanghai reminds me of New York City, surely owed to the stunning skyline. I think the skyline would look much better with a small orange car in front of it, don’t you think?
Well, speaking of the car, customs has cleared it, but we are still waiting on driving approval. While waiting, we brought the car to the shop to get the fluids replaced – they all had to be emptied at the airport in Bangalore on our way out of India.
During the inspection, we learned that the car’s automatic transmission for the car’s gear shift was not working anymore. It’s annoying, but it won’t disrupt our immediate tour plans as the car is semi-automatic, which means we can drive it in manual, as well.
By the way, we have a planned route through China of about 3,700 miles. We’re planning on going from Shanghai to Beijing, to the Great Wall of China, and back to Shanghai. This is just a tentative plan for now, and there are dozens of stops at customers and other spots along the way. All in all we’ll be traveling China for about 3 weeks.
On Monday, the official press conference launching the Chinese tour was held. James Mao, CEO of igus China opened the conference with a speech, before Mark Poensgen gave information about iglide bearings, Fred Lu gave a presentation of iglide bearings for automobiles, and Dirk Tietz gave an overview of the retrofit process. Dirk also introduced me as the driver, and I followed with an overview of our trip through India.
After all that, the program was topped off with some traditional Chinese musicians, and the unveiling of the car.
The conference was very successful – 57 journalists from 45 different journals attended, and seemed like they couldn’t wait to see the car that would be traveling through their country over the next 3 weeks.
Even though we couldn’t take the car with us, we went to visit our first customers the next day. Our Chinese colleagues surprised us with a “show truck” to take along for exhibitions. I can imagine that both the car and the truck together will be quite impressive! Even without the orange iglide car, we saw more than 250 visitors in only half a day from Johnson Controls! They specialize in manufacturing car components including seats and batteries.
Right now, I’m on my way to the Chinese driving administration. I hope today we will finally get the permission that we need to get on the road and explore China! I’ll keep you up to date!