Chinese automakers seek global growth

16:17, July 25, 2011      

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At the eighth China Changchun International Automotive Expo held last week in northeast China's Jilin Province, prospective carbuyers seemed to be more interested in checking out foreign luxury cars than they were in looking at the domestic models provided by companies like Great Wall Motor.

Shi Liang, a regional sales manager with Baoding Great Wall Automobile Sales Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Great Wall Motor, outlined the company's sales strategy while attending the expo.

"We have been using a strategy of promoting sales in both domestic and overseas markets. We have currently established overseas vehicle assembly lines in Russia, as well as in regions in Asia, Africa and Latin America," Shi said.

The company's automobile exports rose 27.1 percent year-on-year to reach 34,197 vehicles, with June alone bringing a 47.9-percent increase, data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) showed.

Great Wall Motor isn't the only home-grown brand seeking growth in the overseas market amid intense competition back home. Encountering sluggish domestic sales, Chinese auto makers are increasingly going global to find new sources of growth.

Due to the removal of government incentives, new car purchase limits and rising oil prices, Chinese consumers are turning to joint-stock and luxury brands for better quality and performance.

To boost the economy amid the global economic meltdown, the government slashed car purchase taxes for small-engine vehicles from 10 percent to 5 percent in 2009, moving them back up to 7.5 percent in 2010. However, this policy ended at the end of last year.
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