Chery Automobile Co, the partner of Fiat and Chrysler, on Friday said it sold 25 percent more vehicles in 2007, but missed its sales target.
Sales at the company, based in the eastern city of Wuhu, grew by 24.8 percent to 381,000 units last year from 2006, it said in a statement.
But it said the figure is less than its goal of moving 393,000 vehicles.
Chery attributed the gap to a "strategic adjustment" that saw it take a step back from the price war in the local car market in the fourth quarter.
The carmaker said in September it would shift its focus from only expanding sales to stabilizing prices and improving quality, services and brand value. It delayed the launch of some new models.
Its 2007 sales ranked No 4 in China's passenger car sector, trailing a tie-up between General Motors and SAIC Motor Corp, and Volkswagen's two joint ventures with SAIC and FAW Corp.
Analysts predicted that sales of all China-made vehicles would hit 8.7 or 8.8 million units in 2007 from 7.2 million in 2006. Passenger car sales in 2007 are expected to exceed 5 million units.
Chery said its overseas sales rocketed by 132 percent to 119,800 vehicles last year, surpassing its previous target of selling 100,000 units abroad. The 2007 figure also makes the company the top car exporter in China for the past five years.
The carmaker said earlier it aimed to sell 400,000 vehicles abroad per year by 2010, when its overall sales reach 1 million units.
It plans to have a total of 14 plants in foreign countries by 2010 to assemble its own-brand cars as part of its push to boost overseas sales.
The firm in August agreed to form a 50-50 venture with Fiat to produce Chery, Fiat and Alfa Romeo cars in China with an annual capacity of 175,000 units for both domestic and foreign markets.
In July, Chery also sealed a deal with Chrysler to build small-sized cars under nameplates of the Detroit-based auto group for the US and European markets.
The Ministry of Commerce last month estimated overall vehicle exports from China would reach 600,000 units in 2007, up from 342,000 units in 2006.
(China Daily January 5, 2008)