Xinhua. China plans to become one of the world’s top three largest automakers by 2010.
China will make the automobile industry a pillar of the national economy in the coming six years, according to a blueprint for national automobile development in China’s 11th Five-Year Plan period (2006-2010).
By 2010, the industrial added-value of the automobile sector will make up 5 percent of China’s gross domestic product, while the sector’s export value is scheduled to surpass 50 billion US dollars, the development blueprint predicts.
As part of the efforts to join economic globalization, all major automakers in China have accelerated the pace of regrouping or mergers, Shen [Ningwu, deputy secretary-general of the China Association of Automobile Industry] said.
The Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation [SAIC] joined with its counterparts in 11 countries and regions including Germany, Japan, Sweden and Italy to build 60 joint ventures. The Chang’an Automobile Group has formed an auto production system by building three auto production bases in Chongqing and Nanjing cities and Hebei Province.
With this rapid rate of growth and the size of the market, Chinese automakers and their joint venture partners have the opportunity to build a more environmentally sustainable fleet (low fuel consumption, alternative fuels, low emissions) than possibly any other. They also have the opportunity to sell that “greenness” into the rest of the world, competing with Toyota and Honda for the green mantle, should they choose to do so.
The presence of an opportunity doesn’t mean that it will be taken—but it would be painful to see this one go untouched.