Fitzpatricks China Study Tour 2018 Bulletin


With just over two weeks until we travel to China, I’m assuming you have your China Visa organised and you’re all ready to go. If you haven’t already, please send us your Visa details so we have them on file? Please also review your travel insurance needs to make sure you are fully covered for the duration of your visit to China

IMPORTANT: Please bring a bottle of wine with you

For our visit to the Great Wall, please can I ask you to pack a bottle of wine (white or red) in your suitcase (appropriately wrapped and protected of course!) with a story attached to it which you can share with us when we get there? Please add this to your packing list.

What to expect on Day 2?

We will wake up on Monday morning at the foot of the Great Wall in time for breakfast at 7am which I understand is excellent at the Brickyard Retreat.

At 8am sharp, we will leave the Brickyard by coach for the two-hour drive to the highly acclaimed Daimler Factory in the Beijing Development Area which operates under the name of their local joint venture, Beijing Benz Automotive Co. Ltd and is “the first ever engine plant outside Germany for Mercedes-Benz vehicles”. See

I am very pleased that I’ve managed to secure this factory visit with the help of one of my local friends, Jeremy Perks of the Leadership Group, who has been working with the senior executives of Daimler’s China operation to address their cross-cultural leadership, communication and HR challenges. 


Daimler’s production facility in China, which is the primary base for the manufacturing of Mercedes-Benz vehicles, won a “Factory of the Year” award in 2017 (see media release for more information) and is, I understand, a magnificent showcase of Sino-German automation, innovation and collaboration, and will be one of the highlights of our China Study Tour.

Please prepare to dress “smart casual” for this visit which will follow this timetable:

7.00am - Breakfast at Brickyard in Mutianyu
8:00am - Drive to BBAC (expected 2 hour drive to cover 100 kms)
10:00am - Arrive at BBAC
10.10am - Briefing from BBAC re China operations (includes video)
10:30am - Visit Assembly Shop
11:00am - Visit Body Shop
12:00pm - Lunch in BBAC Canteen
 1.30pm - Leadership Roundtable/Workshop facilitated by Jeremy Perks and the Leadership Group
3:00pm - Depart BBAC and drive to Westin Financial Street Hotel

In the evening, starting at 6pm we will be hosting a Cocktail Reception in our hotel, the Westin Financial Street Hotel, for local members of the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Beijing. I met with the CEO, Nick Coyle, last weekend in Sydney and he tells me that he has invited a number of Chinese VC, private equity and wealth management groups who all have an interest in Australia, plus Austcham members particularly from the financial services sector. It should be a good networking opportunity and a chance for you to meet and talk to Aussie expatriates and executives living and working in Beijing.

The cocktail event will finish at around 8pm allowing some free time for you to explore Beijing at night (the locals will have some ideas for you!).

Beijing Benz Automotive Co. Ltd
Please take a moment to study the BBAC website and supporting information on the Daimler Factory in Beijing so you can start thinking about your areas of interest, questions you might ask, and how you can contribute to the leadership discussion with their senior leaders which will follow our factory visit.

Watch out for our next Bulletin on “What to expect on Day 3” which will follow next week

I will be in touch again soon but, in the meantime, if you have any queries, please send them to and we will reply as soon as possible.

Best Wishes, 

David Thomas
Think Global Consulting