The one thing certain about China is that nothing ever is. For centuries, the country remained insular, literally walled off from invading hordes, going so far as to sequester its emperor in the Forbidden City. In contrast, today’s leadership is embracing rapid and dramatic change, and the invading hordes now are auto makers and suppliers adding new product and manufacturing operations. Just last month, in a bid to catch up with rivals, Ford Motor Co. unveiled an ambitious ...

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