Short Torque

(China Daily)
Updated: 2010-12-20 07:52
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Ford to build new plant in Nanchang

Ford Motor Co will begin construction of a new car plant next year in Nanchang, capital of East China's Jiangxi province, that is expected to start production in 2013, Xinhua reported last week.

Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford's Asia Pacific and Africa region, made the remarks on Dec 13 in Nanchang during a meeting with Wu Xinxiong, governor of Jiangxi province, the report said.

Ford now holds a 30 percent share in the Jiangxi-based commercial vehicle manufacturer Jiangling Motors Co (JMC) that builds the Ford Transit vans and other JMC-brand vehicles. Hinrichs said Ford will increase its stake in JMC, according to the report.

Sharp increase of vehicle exports

China's vehicle exports in the first 11 months this year totaled 483,300 units, a year-on-year increase of 68.5 percent, according to recent statistics of China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.In November alone, 25,100 cars and 23,800 commercial vehicles were shipped overseas, up 22 percent and 35 percent respectively compared with the same month last year.

China's top five auto exporters were Chery Automobile Co, Chang'an Automobile Group, Great Wall Motor Co, Dongfeng Motor Corp and Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co.

Beijing to improve traffic management

Beijing municipal government released a draft plan on fighting road congestion on Dec 13 for public comment. Measures include improved city road planning and construction, better public transport, and higher parking fees in the most affected areas.

The draft also suggests that government agencies will be barred from buying more vehicles during the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015).

Official statistics show the capital city now has more than 4.7 million motor vehicles on the roads, with the figure projected to reach 7 million by 2015. In November alone, the city's new car sales hit a record high of 96,000 units.

Auto dealers go public overseas

Lentuo International Inc became the first Chinese mainland auto dealer to be listed in the US after it went public on the New York Stock Exchange on Dec 10.

Lentuo was Beijing's largest non-State-owned auto retailer in revenue from sale of new vehicles last year. The company now operates six franchised dealer outlets, 10 automobile showrooms, one repair shop and a car leasing company in the city.

On the same day, China Zhengtong Auto Services Holding Ltd, a luxury car dealer group on the mainland, began public trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Mercedes tops reputation survey

Luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz ranked first on the 2011 Auto Corporate Reputation List, according to a recent survey conducted by Tsinghua University.

Among the factors that affect reputation, quality is the foremost concern and Mercedes-Benz received the highest marks. It also got high marks for popularity, corporate responsibility and brand image.

BMW China and SAIC-GM followed Mercedes-Benz in the rankings.


(China Daily 12/20/2010 page18)