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China’s automobile export hits 1 million units

(People's Daily Online)

08:29, March 06, 2013

The number of China’s automobile export reached 1.05 million units in 2012, a year-on-year increase of 29 percent, according to statistics released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM). It is the first time that China has exported more than 1 million vehicles.

The hard-won export volume

China began to export automobile in 1950s, but the export had developed slowly until 1990s, when China’s motor vehicle industry has started to experience the real export. The export volume increased to 614,000 units in 2007 from 28,000 units in 2001.

Due to the impact of the international financial crisis, the demand of motor vehicle market slumped in the second half of 2008. The export volume dropped 45 percent from 680,000 units in 2008 to 370,000 units in 2009. Although the export volume rose to 560,000 units in 2010, the export scale has not recovered to the level before the international financial crisis.

China’s export has regained rapid growth trend gradually in 2011 with export volume of 850,000 units. In 2012, the export volume has broken through 1 million units, reaching 1.05 million.

Deficiency of core technology, and severe homogeneous competition

In 2012, the production and sales volume of China’s automobile surpassed 19 million units, ranking the first in the world for four consecutive years. But the export volume only accounted for 5 percent of China’s vehicle output.

Deputy secretary general of CAAM Shi Jianhua said an key factor limiting China’s automobile export is the lack of core technology. Shi said although China’s vehicle enterprises developed rapidly, technologies for finished vehicle platform or engine of passenger car are still deficient.

Because of the desire of developing overseas market, the homogeneous competition exists in China’s automobile industry. Shi added China’s finished motor vehicles are mainly exported to the emerging market economics like Latin America, Brazil, Russia, etc. Overlapped targeting markets and clients inevitably result in the homogeneous competition.

China’s vehicle export must “go abroad” and “go upward”.

China’s automobile has already gone abroad. But China’s auto industry should integrate with the local society and local market, and contribute to Chinese vehicle’s international image and brand building, said an official from the Ministry of Commerce.

Shi Jianhua said China’s vehicle enterprises must accelerate the transform to middle and high-end market, develop joint-venture partnership to promote oversea market and cultivate the international competitiveness gradually.

Overseas merger and acquisition is also an approach for China’s automobile industry. In that way, China’s automobile enterprises can acquire advanced technology and well-know brand to obtain competitive superiority in the global market.

Edited and translated by Ma Xi, People's Daily Online
Read the Chinese version: 中国汽车出口破百万 中汽协:“来得太晚了”

Source:People's Daily Online-China Ecnomic Weekly

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