Chery Becomes First Domestic Auto Maker To Top Car Sales In China

Company beat out GM and Volkwagen.

Selling 44,568 in March, Chery Automobile became the first Chinese auto maker to top the domestic car sales list since 1987, state media reported April 6.

The company's sales last month beat the 40,071 units at Shanghai GM, a General Motors joint venture, 38,627 at Shanghai VW and 37,016 at FAW-VW, two joint ventures of Volkswagen AG, the official Xinhua news agency said. The four best sellers held a combined 33% of China's car market in March, the report said.

Wang Chao, a spokesman for Chery, said that his company sold 10,019 units abroad in March and exports in the first three months were close to 30,000 vehicles. Chery said earlier this year that it aimed to boost its exports to 70,000 units this year from 50,000 in 2006.

The company, based in the eastern province of Anhui, became China's seventh largest auto maker and fourth largest producer of sedans in 2006, with sales of 305,200 vehicles including 272,400 sedans. It has or is setting up seven assembly plants in Russia, Egypt, Iran, Indonesia, Ukraine and Uruguay.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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