Shanghai: The Shanghai auto show which started on 16 April and will go on till 24 April has opened to a great start with all the top car makers displaying their wares in the most grand and spectacular manner.
Some of the models grabbing all the eye balls include Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co, a medium-sized truck maker in east China who will market its first small sedan in the third quarter of this year. Aiming for 2007 sales of 5,000 units, rising to 50,000 units next year and 200,000 units in 2010, they are confident of reaching targets.
Chery Automobile Co., DaimlerChrysler AG’s China partner, reiterated that it expects to sell 1 mn cars a year within 10 years. In January, the mid-sized car maker forecast it would sell 393,000 vehicles in China this year, up 29% from 2006.
Chrysler is introducing its Dodge marque to China, launching the new Sebring sedan and Caravan minivan, which will be the first Dodge vehicle to be made and sold in China. The Caliber will go on sale in China in 2008 and will be produced at the Beijing Benz-DaimlerChrysler joint venture. The Caravan will be made at Southeast Motors in Fuzhou, a venture with Fujian Motor Group and China Motor Corp.
Asked when DaimlerChrysler hoped to match overall China autos sales growth, its northeast Asia sales (in China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and South Korea) rose 13% in January-March, lagging overall vehicle sales growth of 22%, DaimlerChrysler COO Eric Ridenour told reporters: “Once the products we have coming are up and running, we will be very competitive”.
Ulrich Walker, chairman of DaimlerChrysler’s Northeast Asia business, said the group would hope to match or beat overall China market growth “within two years”.
DaimlerChrysler said it would double the number of its dealerships in China to 140 by next year. Walker said there would be 60 Dodge dealerships in China this year.
Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp (SAIC), Chairman Hu Maoyuan said the mainland’s largest carmaker would be willing to work with rival Nanjing Automotive in order to minimize competition over MG Rover brands and technology they acquired. Mr Hu also said the company would focus on developing hybrids, fuel cells and other new engine technologies by next year to boost self-branded sales.
Mazda Motor Corp. one-third owned by Ford Motor Co. said it will build a remodelled version of the Mazda subcompact car at a soon-to-be-ready joint venture factory in Nanjing. The model will be slightly different from the European version.
Changan Ford Mazda Automobile, held with Ford and Changan Auto will have annual capacity of 160,000 vehicles. Hiroshima-based Mazda did not say how much of the capacity the Mazda would use, or when the car would be launched in China.