Chery Automotive Company, China's home-brand automaker, will start to move its sales headquarters to the country's largest industrial city of Shanghai in June, China Business News reported on Monday.
Meanwhile, the report, quoting sources with the Anhui-based auto company, said Chery will move part of research and development operations to Shanghai.
"This is part of the company's strategies to expand eastward," said a source with Chery, who asked to be anonymous.
"If everything goes on smoothly, the whole move will be completed at the end of this year," the source said.
Qin Lihong, spokesman of Chery's sales company, said he could not confirm the move. But a sales agency of Chery in Shanghai confirmed that, saying that "It (the sales company) will soon move to Shanghai".
If that comes true, Chery will become China's first automaker with its production base in one city, and sales base in another city.
The nine-year-old Chinese carmaker is legend in China's automobile manufacturing as it has produced a total of 500,000 cars.
Unlike many joint ventures in the Chinese auto industry that depend on foreign technology and sell China-made cars with overseas brands, Chery depends on its own research and development to turn out products with proprietary intellectual property rights (IPR).
Chery has been ranked among the 10 biggest automakers in China for years. Its QQ, a mini-car model, enjoys good sales in China costing less than 40,000 yuan (US$5,000) a unit.
In 2005, Chery exported a record 18,000 cars, the most among China's car manufacturers. Currently, Chery cars are sold in 38 countries outside China.
(Xinhua News Agency May 17, 2006)