Automation in China’s die-forging industry began in the 1970s. It aimed to reduce labor intensity, enhance productivity and improve the quality of forgings. Instead of effectively reducing labor cost, however, automated manufacturing seriously affected productivity and profit due to its unstable performance. The huge investment didn’t bring obvious benefits. That was why automation was not popular before 2000.
Chinese die forging steadily grew through the 1990s. During that decade, automobile production increased to 2 million from 1 million. From 2000 to 2009, production took a great leap forward to 13.7 million.