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FAW Kicks off Bus Joint Venture
The First Automotive Works Corp (FAW), China's No 1 automaker, yesterday officially launched a bus joint venture with a local partner in the capital city of Southwest China's Sichuan Province.

FAW controls an 80 percent stake in the joint venture, named the Chengdu China FAW Automobile Co Ltd. The rest is held by the Chengdu Industry Investment and Management Co.

The launch of the joint venture is part of a cooperation deal signed in August between FAW and Japan's largest carmaker, Toyota Motor Corp.

Under the deal, FAW acquired 80 percent of the Sichuan Station Wagon Factory, the predecessor of the joint venture. The Sichuan wagon factory also had a joint venture with Toyota Motor Corp, called Sichuan Toyota Automobile Co Ltd.

Chengdu China FAW Automobile Co Ltd will produce and market medium and light-duty buses, multi-purpose vehicles and spare parts.

"The launch of the restructured joint venture is an important step of ours to expand in the vast local market of southwestern region," said Zhu Yanfeng, general manager of FAW.

According to Jiang Zhizhong, general manager of Chengdu China FAW Automobile Co Ltd, the joint venture will significantly boost the development of the auto industry in Sichuan with the strong backing of the FAW.

The joint venture is the largest vehicle manufacturer in Sichuan, one of the most populous provinces in China. Total sales of the Sichuan Station Wagon Factory have reached to 51,666 units since 1991.

Its joint venture with Toyota Motor Corp, the first manufacturing base of the Japanese carmaker in the area, was established in 1998.

Sichuan Toyota Automobile Co Ltd, with a production capacity of 10,000 units, started to produce Toyota's Coaster buses last year.

Toyota and FAW aim to annually produce up to 400,000 vehicles by 2010 in China under their cooperative deal.

(China Daily October 22, 2002)

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