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Sales of Chery Jump 61% in 2006
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Chery Automobile sold 305,200 cars in 2006, surging 61 percent year on year, the highest growth ever recorded by a Chinese-brand carmaker.

Chery, which was established nine years ago in eastern China's Anhui Province, saw annual sales growth by more than 100,000 in 2005 and 2006, according to the company.

Chery ranked fourth in volume among passenger vehicle manufacturers in China last year, according to the China Auto News website.

Sino-foreign joint ventures, including Shanghai GM, Shanghai Volkswagen and FAW-Volkswagen, were China's top three producers of passenger vehicles in 2006.

Auto sales in China have been booming since its accession to the World Trade Organization in 2001. Car sales in China were up 40 percent last year, according to figures from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

The US Chrysler Group confirmed last week that it had reached an agreement in principle with Chery to distribute Chery-made small vehicles internationally.

Chrysler Group officials said the Chery-made vehicles, which would be sold under Chrysler Group brands, would attract new customers among the young and entry-level buyers, two areas in which Chrysler does not currently compete.

Chery exported 50,000 cars last year, a 178-percent surge from 18,000 in 2005.

(Xinhua News Agency January 10, 2007)

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