China Amends Five Year Plan for the Bearing Industry

The People’s Republic of China has slightly amended its 11th Five-Year Plan [website], and targets for the nation’s bearing manufacturing industry.

China is relatively unique in that its central government maps out goals for every sector of the country, from industry to medicine, population and education.

The 11th Five-Year Plan covers 2006-2010. It calls for domestic bearing manufacturers to reach annual production of more than 8 billion bearings, worth at least 84 billion yuan (USD $11 billion). The average value per bearing would rise to 10.5 yuan ($1.39), at production value.
During the five years, central planners hope to encourage bearing manufacturing consolidation into three defined groups:

The first tier would be a 2-3 consortiums of the country’s largest bearing manufacturers, each individual company having sales in the neighborhood of 5 billion yuan ($650 million).
The second tier would be 10 consortiums of mid-size manufacturers, each individual company having sales of approximately 1 billion yuan ($130 million).

The third tier would be 20 groups made up of small, specialty bearing manufacturers; each company with sales of approximately 300 million yuan ($30 million) or less.

By encouraging the levels of manufacturers into consortiums, the government also hopes to attract them into a half dozen industrial economic zones set up specifically for bearing manufacturers. This geographical consolidation is supposed to help central planning, materials and energy suppliers be more efficient in servicing specific types of manufacturing, and allow closer government oversight.
The current trend reverses polices dating back to Mao, when bearing manufacturers in China were encouraged to scatter widely. Doing so would supposedly protect China’s key infrastructure from the kind of coordinated attacks launched against Germany’s bearing factories in WWII. Chinese authorities envision these half-dozen manufacturing supercenters could eventually be responsible for as much as 60% of the country’s bearing output.