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back to index backASIAtalk April,  2005

Pushed by competition, helped by government, China's small makers to export more

Pushed by competition with a raft of foreign giants for sales in the domestic market, and helped by a government in Beijing that is eager to promote exports, China's smaller makers—Chery, Geely and Hebei Zhongxing Automobile are looking to expand sales this year with exports, according to the Beijing People's Daily.

The paper, quoting from an article in the vernacular publication China Automobile, said the three makers and others have seen a steady expansion of sales abroad the last couple of years, and believe they can do much, much more.

Meantime, it added, the Ministry of Commerce has worked out policies to encourage auto makers to export vehicles and spare parts by giving them support in loans and export credit.”

Growing Rapidly:

Chinese auto exports have in fact been growing rapidly, the paper said. Shipments of vehicles made by Chinese companies climbed 187% in the first 11 months of 2004, to a total of 117,400, according to the report. That included 9,335 passenger cars, up 227% from 2003. The article said China's five top automakers took 68.8% of the total domestic market last year, selling 3.5 million vehicles and leaving the other 100-plus makers to scrap for pieces of the rest. As a result, most of the exports are from relatively small makers who find themselves left behind in their own domestic market.

Chery, for example, shipped something over 6,000 vehicles last year, to Syria, Iraq, Iran and Egypt, while rival Geely exported 4,846 to 29 countries ranging from the Middle East and North Africa to Central and South America. And Hebei Zhongxing, based near Beijing, sent 6,318 vehicles to Egypt, the UAE and Vietnam.


Chery, of course is tied with American entrepreneur Marshal Bricklin in a plan to make a major assault on the U.S. market starting in 2007. Meantime, it is already planning to export 50,000 vehicles this year. Geely plans to ship about two thirds of its total production abroad. Where that will stop, nobody knows. But it's safe to say that a round of auto trade problems is on the way.

For a free sample copy of The Japan Automotive Digest, click here.

Source: The Japan Automotive Digest

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