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China to Raise Threshold on Car Exports
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China will only allow authorized manufacturers to engage in automobile exports next year in an effort to raise quality, spokesman Chong Quan of the Ministry of Commerce said on Wednesday.


The announcement came after China made public its plans two weeks ago to establish eight auto export manufacturing bases which cover 160 auto and auto parts makers.


Manufacturers that had only nominal exports or failed to guarantee their product quality or provide solid after-sale service would be banned from automobile exports to prevent further damage to the reputation of China's car industry, Chong explained.


About 600 of the 1,025 export-oriented manufacturers had annual car export of less than 10 units.


With an annual growth rate of more than 100 percent since 2003, China's car exports topped US$10 billion last year to become a new growth aspect of the country's foreign trade.


"Export authorization was the common call of local governments, industrial organizations and most automobile companies who wished to secure the industry's healthy development," Chong said.


He wouldn't reveal the criteria that authorized manufacturers would be required to meet, saying that a set of draft qualifications is being studied by the Ministry of Commerce, the National Development and Reform Commission, the General Administration of Customs, State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine and the Certification and Accreditation Administration.


The qualification criteria will probably be put to effect next year, he said.


Minister of Commerce, Bo Xilai, told Xinhua that the Ministry would also strengthen collaboration with major automotive import companies and keep domestic exporters informed of the latest foreign technical standards.


China's car makers should actively expand their overseas presence and upgrade operations through competition, Bo said.


(Xinhua News Agency August 31, 2006)


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