OCTOBER 19, 2002
Ecclestone goes to China
Bernie Ecclestone flew out to Shanghai on Saturday in order to finish final negotiations with the organisers of the planned Chinese GP. The commercial agreements should be signed on Monday. Work on the new facility will begin almost immediately and should be completed by March 2004. The circuit will be big enough to house 200,000 spectators. There are plans for an automotive theme park next to the facility, similar in concept to Suzuka.
The circuit is being funded by the local government which wants to promote the idea that Shanghai is the automobile capital of China and the planned Shanghai International Motor City development will feature not only the racing circuit but also car factories, research and development facilities, exhibition halls and motor museums. There are also plans for engineering colleges which will feed the need for engineers in China's new automobile industry. The aim is for the new city to become the largest car manufacturing district in Asia by 2007 with output expected to be around one million cars a year. There has already been investment in the area from Mercedes-Benz and General Motors, Ford, Volkswagen and Toyota are all talking to the Chinese authorities.
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