China becomes a net auto exporter
Updated: 2005-12-23 07:13
China says it has become a net exporter of cars and trucks for the first
time, with new Chinese competitors such as Geely and Chery starting to make
their mark in the markets of Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
jumped by 133.5 percent in the first 10 months of this year, giving China an
export surplus of 7,000 vehicles, according to the Xinhua News Agency.
A Geely sedan is on display beside a banner
that reads "Let Geely autos hit every corner of the world" in an auto show
in Zhengzhou, Central China's Henan Province October 29, 2005.
Beijing has been promoting the growth of its automakers in recent years as
foreign suppliers expand in China, which is expected to become the world's
biggest car market.
The Xinhua report Wednesday didn't give detailed figures for China's
But Michael Dunne, president of Beijing-based consulting firm Automotive
Resources Asia, said China's exports in 2005 would probably reach about 125,000
Some 20 to 25 percent of that total is likely to be made up of vehicles made
by Chery and Geely, two Chinese brands that sell abroad for less than $10,000,
"Chinese automobile manufacturers are facing an increasingly competitive
market at home," he said. "They are high volume producers. To compete and
survive, they need to export worldwide."
Dunne said the rest of China's exports were "bread box" vehicles ¡ª pickup
truck lookalikes made by companies such as Chang An and Hafei.
He said these vehicles have $2,000 to $4,000 price tags at home, where sales
are concentrated in relatively poor areas, away from big eastern cities.
"In places like Beijing and Shanghai, they are not considered very
attractive," he said.
China's domestic auto sales now total about 5 million vehicles per year, with
most foreign brands manufactured locally or assembled from imported