On 22nd August 2013, Thursday, “Global Lithuanian Leaders” and “Enterprise Lithuania” organized the meeting of representatives of the Baltic Automotive Component Cluster with John Mack, President & CEO of CIE Automotive China (Shanghai, China). J. Mack, Business Advisor at “GLL Business Advisors” program, shared his experience with the participants in the areas of business management, attracting investment, entering new markets and current global trends of the automotive sector.

20 years of worldwide experience in the position of CEO and work with well-known car brands have turned J.Mack into expert in the areas of Automotive Business Strategy, Operations Strategy, Design and Development. He has spent last seven years in China and currently manages CIE Automotive China operations in Shanghai.

The participants of the session raised many questions related to the competition of prices between Europe and Asia, and were interested in J. Mack’s insights about the future of the market and its leaders. “Your fixed costs are too high. You have to cooperate“, advised John Mack. “Even the big manufacturers in China cooperate buying steel in order to reduce the price of it.” He urged the participants to make use of the Baltic Automotive Component Cluster in order to win cost reduction by the suppliers.

John Mack also discussed the international opportunities for Lithuania-based manufacturers to expand to foreign markets and look for international partners, investors and clients. He told that China is turning to Europe as the high demand for steel has increased the prices locally. The opportunity to invest in the construction of a plant in a European country now looks more and more attractive. “In 5 years, the chances will be gone“, said J. Mack, “You should act now to use the momentum and show the initiative. Be the first to approach.” He advised to be ambitious and consider opportunities to construct a factory in Lithuania inviting China to invest in technical base, equipment and to share the production. “Such partnership should bring material revenue in a few years”.

“I’ve learned what to do and what not to do in business. My slogan is  – ‘be fast, focused and flexible’. In business, you don’t have to create long-term plans, it is much more worth being flexible and changing direction as modern world and economy has been developing very fast”, he said.

“I want to share my experience and ‘know-how’ with Lithuanian companies,” stated John Mack. “I am very happy as it is the first time in my life I have been asked to give concrete advise. I noticed that for local businessmen working at automotive sector, it is important to grow and expand internationally. I am happy to encourage them to be ambitious”, shared the guest of the meeting.