The value of China's automobile import was 16.33 billion US dollars in 2004, an increase of 13.1 percent over that of 2003, according to the latest customs statistics.
The figures also show the country's automobile export rose 73.2 percent to 8.16 billion dollars last year.
Among the imports, China brought in 177,100 complete vehicles (including CKDs) in 2004, up 2.6 percent year-on-year. Their value amounted to 5.41 billion dollars, up 3 percent.
On the other hand, China exported 406,000 complete vehicles (including CKDs) in 2004, including 9,335 cars, 779 cross-country vehicles and 275,186 special-purpose vehicles.
An official with China's Ministry of Commerce said the gap between Chinese and foreign automobile industries remains great. It is very difficult for China to greatly increase complete vehicle export in a short period.
However, China's auto parts industry is fairly competitive and possible to witness rapid export growth, he said.
(Xinhua News Agency January 27, 2005)