Located in the heart of northeast China, Changchun, Jilin, is an important centre of heavy industry, notably automotive and locomotive industries. Known to locals as the "City of Automobiles", Changchun was the birthplace of China's first homegrown vehicle and accounted for 9% of China’s auto output in the year 2009, but the share has been declining as foreign automakers built more joint venture plants in other cities like Wuhan and Guangzhou. Furthermore, the city has plans to strengthen its transportation manufacturing and increase production capacity. The city is also home to food processing, electronics, biotech, medicinal, and energy industries. An enormous beneficiary of China’s rapid rail expansion, the city is also an important transit point and entry point into Western China.
While the city has been unable to attract foreign investments to the same degree as its neighbors Shenyang and Dalian and its real estate and retail industries have seen slow growth, Changchun nevertheless boasts strong growth in GDP and major industries. Changchun's GDP grew 13.3% to RMB400.3 billion in 2011.