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Brilliance Auto to expand despite overall slowdown
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Brilliance Auto, the seventh largest auto maker in China in terms of sales, aims to double its sales revenue to reach 80 billion yuan (US$11.7 billion) in 2010, the company said.

Qi Yumin, board chairman of the company, said Thursday that the automobile industry would see opportunities in light of the government-planned stimulus measures to boost the ailing sector.

The government will lower the purchase tax on cars under 1.6 liters from 10 percent to 5 percent from January 20 to December 31 and earmark 10 billion yuan as a special fund in the coming three years to support auto companies to upgrade technologies.

It will also provide one-off allowances to farmers to upgrade their three-wheeled vehicles and low-speed trucks.

"The home brands will benefit a lot from these measures," Qi said.

The company sold more than 285,000 vehicles last year and saw a sales revenue of 41 billion yuan. It expects to sell 500,000 vehicles and 500,000 engines in 2010.

The company began the construction of a factory, which would be able to produce 150,000 vehicles annually, with an investment of 3 billion yuan last week in Shenyang, capital of the northeastern Liaoning Province.

The factory alone is expected to add 15 billion yuan to the company's sales revenue every year, according to Qi.

Chinese auto makers reported a 6.7-percent rise in sales in 2008 compared with the previous year, the lowest rise in 10 years, according to China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

The industry group expected the growth rate of auto sales to drop to 5 percent this year as consumer confidence waned with a slowing economy.

(Xinhua News Agency February 1, 2009)

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