Local-brands Take 25.7% Of China's Auto Market

Local brands have moved into the more lucrative high-end sedan market said manufacturing assocation.

Up more than two percentage points from a year earlier, Chinese-brand sedans had a 25.7% market share at home in 2006, despite fierce foreign rivalry, state media said April 16.

Chinese auto makers sold 982,800 sedans, the official Xinhua news agency reported, citing Jiang Lei, secretary general of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. The latest figure compared with a market share of 23.5% in 2005, according to a previous report by Xinhua.

"For many years, Chinese brands were regarded as low-end, substandard products as many were unreliable. Over the past year, local brands started moving into the more lucrative high-end sedan market," Jiang said.

Local brands' market share of all vehicles -- everything from cars to buses and trucks -- was 57% in 2006, the report said. Indigenous brands hold a dominant place in commercial vehicles like buses and trucks, with their market share hovering around 95% for three consecutive years.

Chery Automobile, a mid-sized private car maker, became the first Chinese auto maker to top the domestic car sales list since 1987 by selling 44,568 vehicles in March, state media reported earlier. The figure beat out Shanghai GM, a General Motors joint venture ranking second with 40,071 units, and 38,627 at Shanghai VW and 37,016 at FAW-VW, two joint ventures of Volkswagen AG.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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