China is encouraging its car makers to upgrade their business structure and boost technology innovation as the country aims for an average 10-percent growth in its auto exports by 2011.
Besides commercial vehicles, auto makers are encouraged to focus on economy-size cars and buses while exporting more fuel efficient and new energy vehicles, according to a guideline issued by the Ministry of Commerce yesterday.
The ministry also urged car makers to penetrate into higher market segments in developing countries and set up well-developed sales networks and offer better after-sales services.
"The global financial crisis highlighted the problems in vehicle exports," the ministry said. "Since the second half of last year, exports of automotive products dropped significantly - a very critical situation."
China aims to boost the export value of cars and auto parts by 20 percent annually to US$85 billion by 2015. It seeks to propel auto exports to account for 10 percent of the global auto trade by 2020, the ministry said.
The export value of China's automotive products reversed 33.5 percent to US$25.8 billion for the first nine months of this year as the financial tsunami hit.
Last year, China's total vehicle exports rose 11 percent to 680,700 units but the growth rate was 68 percentage points lower from 2007.
"Generally speaking, China's auto exports still lag far behind developed countries," the ministry said. "Problems such as quantity-oriented development, lack of distribution networks, innovation capability and intellectual property rights protection are restraining the market to develop."
Auto exports grew at an average 50 percent annually during 2001 to 2007. The export value totaled US$30.2 billion in 2008, according to China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
Most of the Chinese autos are exported to developing countries.