Chinese carmaker Brilliance Auto is hoping to establish a marketing network in the United States in order to export its Zhonghua cars to the country, according to company chairman Qi Yumin.
The Shenyang-based company is choosing distributors in the United States, said Qi, but he declined to offer further details.
Brilliance has become China's first carmaker to hold an exhibition at the Geneva motor show, one of the most important events in the global automotive industry alongside Detroit, Frankfurt, Tokyo and Paris.
The company showcased three fuel-efficient models - the Zhonghua Zunchi (BS 6) and Junjie (BS 4) sedans and the M3 (BC 3) sports car - and it has plans to sell them in Europe this year.
The M3, equipped with Brilliance's 1.8T turbo engine, made its debut at the Beijing auto show last year as China's first indigenous high-end sports car, while the Junjie was designed by the company in collaboration with Italy's Pininfarina SpA.
At the end of last year, Brilliance clinched an export deal with the Bremen-based HSO Auto Trading Co. to sell 158,000 Zunchi and Junjie cars in Europe over the next five years.
"The European market is the touchstone of Chinese cars," said Qi.
The China Securities Journal quoted an unnamed analyst as saying the three models live up to Europe's strict technical and quality requirements.
Entering the European market was a breakthrough for the Chinese carmaking industry. But Chinese carmakers have a long way to go before gaining a considerable market share in Europe as many of them still face major difficulties in meeting European safety and emission standards, said the report.
Richard Wagoner, president of the General Motors, said earlier this year that China's carmakers should be cautious before heading west because the quality of Chinese cars was still a major concern for the US consumers.
(Xinhua News Agency March 9, 2007)