To cope up with so much financial strain, Hong Kong-based shipbuilders China Ocean Industry Group – formerly known as China Ocean Shipbuilding Industry Group – is literally being turned into a parking lot, reports Bloomberg.
China Ocean Industry Group Ltd., which dropped “shipbuilding” from its name in March, acquired a car-park operator last year to meet an estimated shortage of 50 million parking spaces in the world’s most populous nation.
The company plans to build and operate 100,000 lots in China within three years, contributing about 70 percent of total operating profit by then, according to Chief Executive Officer Zhang Shi Hong.
The move underscores how shipyards like China Ocean are seeking other avenues of growth with the global shipbuilding business in a protracted slump because of falling commodity prices and a glut of new vessels.
About 140 yards have gone out of business since 2010, and more may follow, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. By contrast, parking is in short supply in China’s major cities and double-parking is a common sight.
The company has officially announced that it is diversifying into the business of car parks through the formation of a new joint venture with Shenzhen Electronics Group (SEG), a listed firm involved in electronics manufacture and property leasing.
In addition to what the company describes as the construction and operation of "intelligent car parks," the JV will also look to develop and market electric vehicle charging facilities.