China becomes Volvo's 3rd largest market

Updated: 2010-10-23 14:42
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TIANJIN - China has become Volvo's third largest market, with more of its car models to go on sale in the world's largest auto market this year, Chief Executive Office (CEO) of Volvo Cars China said in Tianjin.

Alexander Klose, CEO of Volvo Cars China, told Xinhua at the Ninth Tianjin International Automobile Trade Show, being held from Friday to Wednesday.

Klose said Volvo Cars had entered a new era of fast development, adding that its sales in China roared in 2010.

As of the end of September, Volvo's global sales volume was up 12.5 percent year on year, compared with 52 percent year-on-year rise in China, he said.

Volvo also aggressively expanded its dealer network to 98 outlets in 81  Chinese cities this year.

Two new Volvo sales centers opened in Beijing within merely one week in early October, about two months after east China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co acquired the Swedish brand from the US auto giant Ford for $1.5 billion in early August.

Klose said he was confident of seeing tremendous growth in China's auto market in the next five years.

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"As the Chinese government has increased the tax rate for large displacement cars already, we now have a lot of cars below three liters, and I think we'll stick to that strategy, as you can see now the XC60 which was introduced today is just two liters," he said.

"As the technology advances, we'll probably even see 1.6 liter engines or 1.5 liter engines in the future," he added.

Volvo Cars is not the only automaker hoping to take advantage of China's rapidly growing auto market.

Bentley, the famous British luxury carmaker, will open a new sales center in China at Tianjin Thursday, which is the 11th one in China, according to a press release by Shanghai-based Zenith Integrated Communications Corp (Zenith) Saturday at the auto show.

Zenith is the public relations agent of Bentley in China. The automaker has sold 421 limousines to China in 2009, and the goal for 2010 is 777, the release said.