China's fastest-growing automaker Chery says its new growth point for overseas marketing this year is in Latin America, with plans underway to open a factory in Uruguay -- its first in the continent -- with an Argentine partner.
"We'll concentrate our efforts this year in cultivating this new market," said Qin Lihong, vice president of Chery Auto Co.'s sales arm.
Chery autos will prove competitive in Latin America, which does not have its own auto industry and relies solely on imports, he said during the Fifth China Changchun International Automobile Fair that opened in the northeastern Jilin Province on Friday.
"We provide a full range of cost-effective and technology intensive vehicles," said Qin. "Our recent deal with Chrysler Group is another advantage because Chrysler's sales network will help us tap the Latin American market, too."
The 10-year-old Chinese auto company in Wuhu, eastern Anhui Province, signed a deal with Chrysler Group early in July to launch a production venture that could export the first Chinese-made cars to the United States.
Chery proved successful in tapping the Russian market last year, with exports to Russia accounting for nearly half of all its vehicles sold to the international market in the first half of this year, Qin said without elaborating.
A company statement this week said Chery's exports soared to 52,712 vehicles in the first six months, compared with 13,548 reported in the same period of last year.
It said the company's overseas sales will top 100,000 vehicles for the whole year.
Chery became China's fourth largest producer of passenger cars in 2006, with sales of 305,200 vehicles and a 7.2-percent market share in China.