Dongfeng Motor Corp, China's third-biggest automaker, said it aims to double its annual sales by the end of this decade on the tails of China's growing auto industry.
Zhou Wenjie, deputy general manager of the company based in Central China's Hubei Province, said it plans to sell 1.8 million vehicles in 2010, up from 900,000 units estimated this year.
The 2010 sales, if possible, would enable Dongfeng, the parent of Hong Kong-listed Dongfeng Motor Group Co Ltd, to lift its market share in China to 18 percent from 12.66 percent last year, Zhou said. The parent firm sold 729,000 vehicles in 2005.
He said the parent company aims to earn more than 10 billion yuan (US$1.27 billion) in profits in 2010. The company's 2005 profits reached 7.08 billion yuan (US$896.2 million), according to industry statistics.
"We are seeking sustainable and profitable growth which will give our investors stable, high and long-term returns," he said.
He said the market capitalization of Dongfeng Motor Group Co Ltd, which launched an initial public offering in Hong Kong at the end of last year, has expanded by 120 percent to 32 billion Hong Kong dollars (US$4.11 billion). The listed company accounts for more than four-fifths of the parent company's total assets.
However, the listed unit closed at 3.74 Hong Kong dollars (48.07 US cents) per share yesterday, down 3.86 percent.
Helped by buoyant vehicle sales and producers' increased cost-cutting endeavors, China's auto sector has regained profit growth this year after consecutive plunges over the past two years.
Profits of the sector, consisting of vehicles, spare parts and motorcycles, rose 48.87 percent year-on-year to 54.47 billion yuan (US$6.89 billion) in the first three quarters of this year.
Zhou said Dongfeng Motor Corp, the parent firm, plans to spend some 3 billion yuan (US$379 million) building new production capacity, enhancing development capability and launching new products annually in the years leading to 2010.
The company plans to launch six to eight new cars every year by 2010 to boost sales, he said.
It now makes trucks and buses under its own nameplate but assembles foreign-brand cars at a slew of joint ventures with Japan's Nissan and Honda, PSA Peugeot Citreon from France and South Korea's Kia.
Parent Dongfeng's sales jumped by a quarter to 742,200 vehicles in the first 10 months of this year from the same period in 2005. The sales included 516,000 trucks and buses and 226,200 cars.
In the meantime, sales of all China-made vehicles grew by a quarter to 5.77 million units.
Full-year sales are forecast to reach 7 million vehicles, which will enable China to unseat Japan as the world's No 2 vehicle market after the United States.
(China Daily November 21, 2006)