Chinese, Indiana Companies Discuss Electric Cars

Several Indiana manufacturers will meet with executives from Chinese auto companies to discuss ways they might work together to produce electric and hybrid vehicles.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Several Indiana manufacturers will be meeting this week with executives from 15 Chinese auto companies to discuss ways they might work together on the production of electric and hybrid vehicles.

Gov. Mitch Daniels said Monday the session could lead to Indiana companies making components for Chinese automakers and help interest those automakers in starting operations in the state.

Daniels is to speak during a welcome dinner Thursday for the event, which continues Friday in downtown Indianapolis.

China's assistant minister of commerce will lead that country's delegation, which will include nearly 100 executives and government officials.

Chu Mao Ming, a deputy counsel general for China, said Monday during a Statehouse news conference that the meeting could help companies both from his country and Indiana.

"We need this kind of advanced technology for vehicles, particularly now as we are going to develop some kind of green economy," he said.

Indiana companies taking part in the meetings will include Indianapolis-based Allison Transmission and EnerDel, Columbus-based Cummins Inc., Remy International of Pendleton and Delphi Automotive Systems of Kokomo.

The companies have all been working on components such as advanced batteries, engines, transmissions and electronics for hybrid and electric vehicles.

The announcement comes just days after the Indiana Economic Development Corp. that the governor heads up announced it would be opening a second China office in Zhejiang.

Daniels led an Indiana delegation of about 50 people, including several mayors and business leaders, on a two-week trade mission to China and Japan last September.

Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman is leaving next week on a trip with a group of about 25 state and business officials that will spend eight days in China promoting Indiana's farm products and agriculture industry.

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