Guangdong Governor Huang Huahua plans to build Guangzhou into the biggest automobile production base in the country.
By 2010, Guangzhou will be able to produce its own brand-name cars and have its own research and development centers, said the governor.
"To achieve this goal, Guangzhou should take even bolder steps to attract more foreign financial support and expand cooperation to further boost industrial development in the sector in the following years."
Huang made the comment while visiting Guangzhou's Huadu District and the suburban city of Zengcheng, where many automobile and automobile parts production facilities are located. Huang was accompanied by Guangzhou Mayor Zhang Guangning and other officials.
Many industrial insiders have echoed Huang's view, saying the southern metropolis has the requisite qualities to become China's new automobile powerhouse.
Yi Ming, deputy director of Guangzhou Economic Commission, said cars have become a pillar industry in Guangzhou, attracting three major Japanese carmakers Toyota, Honda and Nissan. Automobile companies from Europe and America are also in talks to set up shop in the city.
Guangzhou Honda Automobile Co Ltd is a 50:50 joint venture between Guangzhou Automobile Group and Honda. Starting production in March 1999, it has produced over 1 million cars to date. Last year, it produced 350,000 cars.
Guangzhou Toyota Automobile Co Ltd, another joint venture, has manufactured more than 100,000 Camry sedans in the 10 months it has been in operation.
Guangzhou has more than 60 overseas companies and joint ventures producing cars, parts and related products.
Its automobile industrial output crossed 100 billion yuan last year, accounting for more than one-fifth of the city's total, Yi said.
Going by its ambitious development plan, Guangzhou will produce over 800,000 cars this year with an industrial output value of more than 110 billion yuan.
The city plans to manufacture more than 1 million cars next year and 1.3 million cars in 2010.
(China Daily April 6, 2007)