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China's Auto Industry Benefits World: Ford Executive
China's automotive industry is set to become a global supplier of parts and vehicles, according to David W. Thursfield, executive vice-president of Ford Motor Company.

Automobile consumption in North American and European Union countries is almost saturated, but the Asia-Pacific region, especially China, still has a high demand, which attracts global automakers to China, he said.

Thursfield said China's huge market, its successful long-term opening-up policy, and rapid construction of infrastructure such as roads have created a good environment for the industry.

"I believe China will become a global supply center for auto parts and even autos," he said.

Cars have become symbols of wealth, status and freedom for middle-class Chinese. As China enhances development of its western regions, the popularity of cars will spread from coastal regions to the remote west, and from middle classes to working people.

Thursfield predicted that by the end of 2010, the global output of vehicles will increase by 11 million, of which the Asia-Pacific region will increase 7 million with half from China. By the end of 2020, the production of Chinese automobiles will reach 10 million.

Ford has cooperated with Chinese firms in parts supply, technology transfers, research and development. It built an export sourcing center in Shanghai not long ago with a forecast of US$1 million worth of material being sourced from China this year.

Last month, Ford promoted its first family sedan Fiesta through its joint venture in Chongqing and planned to introduce at least one new model to China every year.

(Xinhua News Agency February 6, 2003)

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