China's auto industry has grown so rapidly in the five years since the nation joined the WTO that it will soon become the world's third largest auto manufacturer behind the United States and Japan.
Since 2001, China's annual auto output has tripled and the nation has gone from being the fifth largest car manufacturer in the world in 2002 to the fourth largest in 2005.
Over the last five years, China has fulfilled its commitments to the WTO by adopting a series of measure to further open its auto industry. In the first 11 months of this year, China produced 6.65 million cars, putting it on track to reach 7 million for the year, making China the world's third largest auto manufacturer behind the United States and Japan. China is expected to sell 6.4 million vehicles this year.
China has diversified its industry since its accession by setting up joint ventures with the world's car giants. Brands registered to joint ventures make up three quarters of the domestic car market. By establishing joint ventures, Chinese auto manufacturers have been able to acquire the knowledge, skills and equipment to build cars and car parts.
In five short years, the China's auto industry has become an indispensable component of the nation's economy as well the world's auto industry. The Chinese auto industry has undergone a series of changes since its accession to the WTO.
China's auto production has tripled in five years. Between 2001 and 2005, output grew on a year-on-year average of 20.75 percent.
There has also been rapid growth in domestic brand car production. In 2001, only 5 percent of sedans were made in China; this year, it was 26.4 percent. China is set to overtake Japan as the primary manufacturer of domestic brands.
China has now realized a basic balance between auto imports and exports. What is noteworthy is that Chinese car exports surpass imports, which is in keeping with the commitments it made to the WTO. In 2005, the number of cars exported exceeded, for the first time, the number imported. Since 2001, Chinese exports of autos have grown 15 percent annually to reach a value of 20 billion yuan in 2005. Export of autos and auto parts is now a reliable, profitable market for domestic car manufacturers.
Within China, sales of private vehicles have boomed, increasing by 40 percentage points since 2001. Prices have fallen by almost one third since China joined the WTO. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese families have realized the dream of owning a car in the last five years.
By People's Daily Online