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Brilliance Automotive Raises 2007 Sales Forecast
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Encouraged by stronger-than-expected performance last year, Brilliance Automotive Group, the parent of Hong Kong-listed Brilliance China Auto, has raised its 2007 sales goal by 20 percent.

The group, which operates a joint venture with German carmaker BMW through its listed arm, said in a statement to China Daily that it plans to move 300,000 vehicles this year.

The figure is up from its previous sales target of 250,000 units announced early last year.

Based in northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang, the company said it expects to report 45 billion yuan in 2007 sales revenue, a jump of 41 percent from last year.

The company's sales soared by 71.5 percent last year to 210,088 vehicles, outpacing growth in the entire domestic auto industry. Its sales ranked it as the ninth-biggest automaker.

Sales of China-made automobiles climbed by a quarter to 7.22 million units last year, enabling the nation to unseat Japan as the world's No 2 vehicle market, according to industry data. Sales this year are widely forecast to reach 8.5 million units.

Brilliance Automotive Group said it aims to sell 35,000 vehicles abroad this year, up from 6,500 units in 2006.

The group in November agreed with a German car trader to ship a total of 158,000 own-brand sedans to Europe by 2011, the biggest overseas sales deal won by a Chinese automaker so far.

The company also started assembling its own brand sedans in Egypt last year with a local partner.

Xu Changming, an auto industry analyst with the State Information Center, predicted earlier that China's exports will grow to 500,000 units this year from 340,000 units in 2006.

Brilliance's lineup under its own badge includes the Zhonghua sedans, Jinbei and Granse vans, and Jinbei light-duty trucks.

It said it will roll out three new own-brand car models this year.

The company's venture with BMW in Shenyang makes BMW 3 and 5 Series sedans. Last year, the venture sold 22,550 vehicles, up 47 percent.

(China Daily February 16, 2007)

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