China looking to up auto exports

Jocelyn Ford Aug 18, 2006


SCOTT JAGOW: China wants to sell more cars to the rest of the world. The government has just named eight cities as auto export zones. Here’s Jocelyn Ford:

JOCELYN FORD: China’s got a car problem. It’s factories can churn out more vehicles than they can sell at home. The government is looking to exports to solve the issue.

Today China exports only about 7 percent of the cars it makes, mostly to developing countries. Neighboring Japan exports about 40 percent of its cars.

But auto analyst Matthew Kong warns the plan could backfire if China doesn’t first improve the quality and safety of its vehicles.

MATTHEW KONG: I think to some extent, this kind of thing may destroy their name, you know.

Chinese carmakers have a long drive ahead. They’ll need to learn to design their own cars and build brand names as well as sales networks.

Matthew Kong predicts it’ll be five to eight years before China is ready for prime time in countries like the United States.

In Beijing, I’m Jocelyn Ford for Marketplace.

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