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Changan Auto forecasts exports to jump 5 times
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2006-10-23 09:51
Chongqing Changan Automobile Co forecast exports will jump fivefold to 100,000 vehicles in 2010 as demand for its compact models rises in Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe.

    

"We are fully confident that we can export a large number of cars to the overseas market," General Manager Zhang Baolin said during an economic conference in Suzhou on Saturday. "The U.S. is the final target."

    

Changan Auto is targeting overseas expansion after new models spurred a 44 percent increase in third-quarter sales, helping the company to rebound to a profit from a net loss a year earlier, Bloomberg News reported. Ford has invested more than 1 billion U.S. dollars in China since 2003, enabling the Chinese automaker to expand its product range.

    

The Chongqing-based company exported more than 20,000 vehicles, mostly compact cars, in the first nine months of this year, compared with 15,000 for the whole of 2005, Zhang said. Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe will still account for most of the company's exports in 2010, he said.

    

Shares in Changan Auto have risen 45 percent on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange this year, compared with a 61 percent increase in the benchmark Shenzhen Composite Index. The stock rose one percent to 5.27 yuan (0.67 dollars) on Friday.

    

Zhang forecast that Changan Auto will capture as much as 10 percent of China's auto exports, which he forecast will exceed one million vehicles in 2010. The company's eventual target is to sell vehicles in the U.S., the world's biggest auto market.

    

"Only when China sells a large number of cars to the US has China really become a car exporter," Zhang said.

    

Chinese carmakers may take years before exporting a large number of cars to the U.S. because of lower quality, staid designs and increasing labor costs, the New York Times reported on Wednesday. Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd and Chery Automobile Co both recently pushed back plants to export to the US until at least 2009, said the newspaper.

Source:Shanghai Daily 
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