First Automotive Works Corp (FAW), China's biggest vehicle producer, announced on Tuesday its sales exceeded 1 million units so far this year.
The State-owned company, based in Changchun, capital of Northeast China's Jilin Province, became the first Chinese automaker to hit the 1-million sales mark in one year.
Sales are up from 900,000 vehicles last year.
Its own brand vehicles accounted for 50 percent of the sales this year, including 244,000 Jiefang (Chinese for liberation) trucks and 15,000 Red Flag sedans, the company said.
FAW said it also exported 10,000 of its own brand vehicles this year.
"We achieved the sales target this year despite a lot of (negative) factors, including decelerating sales growth on the domestic auto market, high-flying raw material prices, increases in car loan interest rates and nose-diving car prices," FAW said.
Sales of China-made vehicles rose by 16.81 per cent year-on-year during the first 11 months of this year.
The growth was down from 34 percent last year. Growth of passenger car sales plunged to 16.9 percent during the period from 75 percent last year.
Prices on the domestic car market have declined by more than 10 percent this year from last year.
FAW, established in 1953, is seen as the cradle of China's automotive industry.
It operates a car joint venture with Germany's Volkswagen in Changchun, producing Jetta, Bora, Audi and Golf vehicles.
Sales of the joint venture, FAW's biggest unit, reached 300,000 cars this year.
FAW has joint ventures with Japan's Toyota Motor in North China's Tianjin Municipality and southwestern Sichuan Province to produce Vios and Corolla, and Coaster and Land Cruiser Prado models respectively.
FAW Car Co Ltd, FAW's listed unit, produces Mazda 6 sedans under a technical licensing deal with the Japanese carmaker.
FAW has also greatly contributed to Jilin's economic growth.
Its output in the province exceeded 600,000 vehicles this year with sales revenue reaching 87.3 billion yuan (US$10.5 billion), the company said.
(China Daily December 29, 2004)