The giant orange robotic arms that swiftly weld together car frames at the Great Wall Motors factory in Baoding might seem like the perfect answer to China's fast-rising labour costs - they don't ask for a raise, get injured or go on strike.
For Great Wall, a private sector Chinese car maker that employs 50,000 workers, the Swiss robots and other machinery that line its bright factory floor produce more than cost savings.
The company hopes they will help it build cars good enough to compete with the global auto makers.
"You don't have to be an expert see the (quality) gap between Chinese cars and those made by companies like Audi and Volkswagen," said Li Shaohui, who oversees automatic control engineering for the company.
"To beat those competitors we have no choice but to use a higher level of equipment and technology."
Image: Visitors look at an industrial robot at a stand of Kuka at the Hanover industrial fair in Hanover, April 23, 2012. The world's leading fair for industrial technology, with about 5,000 exhibitors from 69 nations, runs till April 27 with China as this year's partner country.
Text: Don Durfee, Reuters
Reuters and AP Images