Since you do not want to spend most of the time sitting in your car, you are better off booking a hotel near the major factory area.
If you choose to stay in one of the city hotels, you have to pay more and have to return every evening to the city. It will probably cost you an opportunity to have dinner with your hosts. A social evening with the factory management is a great chance to strengthen your business relationship and might produce valuable information about a competitor or another factory in the area.
Your Factory Contact Can Help
Ask your contact at the factory to recommend a local hotel. Let them know if you have any special needs that the hotel will need to accommodate. Once you decide on a hotel near the factory, have your contact book a room.
If you try to arrange that through your travel agent at home, you will end up in a hotel that is far away from your desired area. Only the most specialized travel agents have knowledge about Chinese hotels in the industrial areas.
The experienced local people know which hotels in the area are suitable for Westerners. Following this simple formula saves you the grief of figuring out a proper accommodation and then working through the language barrier to correctly book the room, you are better off accepting their help in finding one. In my 24 plus years of experience, I have never been booked into a substandard hotel by a factory contact. For one thing, they don’t want to lose face by placing you into one of the hotels catering primarily to local travelers. Of course, there may be exceptions if you are visiting some rural areas without a city nearby. Even if that is the case, you can depend on a factory to select the best option available to you.