Like it or not, California is competing for manufacturing jobs, with other states and overseas. In fact, local governments in foreign countries are competing with each other as well to lure American business.
Priscilla Lu, board chair of Zap in Santa Rosa, has worked on a number of projects with the city of Hongzhou over the years. She praises the way the government Beijing creates a competitive atmosphere with incentives.
"They actually reward the provinces that have higher GDP. The higher your GDP, the more support, the more financial support you’re going to get from the central government. So it’s almost kind of the reverse from, you know, what we’re used to here. Because here, it’s the states that are not doing well that get support!"
China isn't the only market Zap Jonway aims to target. The pending company already has pending orders from Costa Rica, Korea and Japan.
"There’s a decent, slow but steady market for these low-speed neighborhood vehicles," says John O'Dell of GreenCarAdvisor.com. "A lot of agencies get a lot of stimulus money for greening up their fleets. You will not become the next General Motors, but you can sustain a business on fleet vehicles if you’ve got a good product."
Listen to the story I did for California Report here: