Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province, has developed into an important motor vehicle manufacturing base and made the automotive industry one of the pillars of local economy.
According to statistics from a recent trade fair for automobile and related industries held in Guangzhou, the city's automotive sector scored 20.6 billion yuan (2.5 billion US dollars) in gross output last year, or 6.13 percent of its total industrial output.
In 2001, Guangzhou claimed a 7.3-percent share of China's car market, and its market share for high and medium-grade cars was 29.3 percent.
Guangzhou Mayor Lin Shusen noted at the fair that the city had accomplished a strategic readjustment in its automotive industry since 1996.
In the process, Guangzhou Honda, a joint venture between Guangzhou Automotive Industry Group Corporation and Honda of Japan,was set up in 1998. To date, the company is the most successful ofHonda's 17 overseas manufacturing bases and ranks first in Asia interms of growth rate, economic returns and product quality.
Guangzhou Honda achieved 12.13 billion yuan (1.45 billion US dollars) in sales and over 4 billion yuan (482 million US dollars)in pre-tax profits on an annual production capacity of 50,000 cars.
In July, Guangzhou Honda launched a manufacturing facility in Guangzhou Economic and Technological Development Zone to produce up to 50,000 economy cars for overseas markets annually in the first phase of the base.
The city established another major car production company, Guangzhou Aeolus Motor, in 2001. A joint venture between Dongfeng Motor Corporation (DMC), based in central China's Hubei Province, and Yulon, of Taiwan, the company sold 18,000 cars last year, and garnered 700 million yuan (84.3 million US dollars) in net profits.
Last year also witnessed the start of a Sino-Japanese joint-venture bus production company in Guangzhou, which involved a first-phase annual production capacity of 1,200 units.
This year Guangzhou is expected to turn out more than 100,000 motor vehicles. The automotive sector is expected to realize 20 billion yuan (2.3 billion US dollars) in sales and over six billion yuan (734.9 million US dollars) in pre-tax profits.
(Xinhua News Agency September 9, 2002)