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Changan drives overseas expansion
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2006-06-30 11:53

Chang'an Motor Corp, the Chinese partner of Ford Motor Co, yesterday announced it will expand in the overseas market with its own-brand vehicles.

The nation's No 4 automotive group expects sales abroad will account for 15 to 20 per cent of its overall vehicle sales  including those from joint ventures with foreign partners  annually by 2010, Chang'an chief executive officer Xu Liuping told China Daily.

The ratio is up from less than 3 per cent last year, according to data provided by the company.

At an international business conference yesterday in Chongqing, attended by dealers from 28 countries and regions, Xu said the overseas market is expected to contribute 25 to 30 per cent of the firm's own-brand sales by 2010.

He said Chang'an aims to raise overall sales from 630,000 vehicles last year to 1.5 million units a year by 2010, with more than half under its own brands.

The company's overseas sales rocketed by 143 per cent to 15,000 vehicles last year. Other Chang'an executives said it aims to sell 25,000 vehicles overseas this year.

"We will use global resources to make high-quality own-brand vehicles and provide them to customers at home and abroad at reasonable prices," Xu said.

Besides the Middle East, Southeast Asia, South America and Africa, Chang'an is also exploring the US and European markets, he said.

The company said in a statement that it plans to launch three to eight new own-brand models at home and abroad every year by 2010. Its overseas line-up will include mini vehicles, light-duty trucks, pick-ups, sport utility vehicles, multi-purpose vehicles and cars with an engine capacity of between 1.0 and 2.0 litres.

 

Xu said Chang'an is planning to build assembly plants in Pakistan and Malaysia to speed up overseas sales.

And foreign distributors like Michael Ward, president of Tiger Truck LLC, Chang'an's sole distributor in the United States, have confidence in Chang'an products.

Ward told China Daily: "The United States has the most difficult auto standards in the world. But I believe Chang'an can meet those standards if it wants to do so. We will increase its sales in the United States step by step."

Ward said 1,000 Chang'an vehicles were sold in the United States last year.

Many other Chinese vehicle producers are also looking to the overseas market.

Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp, partner of Volkswagen and General Motors, aims to sell 45,000 own-brand cars a year in the overseas market by 2010. It will begin exports next year.

Geely Automobile, the independent carmaker in Zhejiang Province, aims to sell two-thirds of its vehicles abroad by 2015. It plans to lift its overall sales to 2 million units annually by then from 150,000 units last year. It will kick off car production later this year in Malaysia.

Chang'an executives said it plans to spend more than 5 billion yuan (US$625 million) in new own-brand vehicle development from 2006 to 2010, up from 3.9 billion yuan (US$487.5 million) in the past five years.

Source:China Daily 
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