If you're still not taking China's push to become a major automotive power seriously, then this statistic is sure to give you food for thought: according to an official with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country is on track to produce a record 12million vehicles this year.
A report in the People's Daily quotes Chen Bin, director of the Department of Industry under the NDRC, as stating that Chinese car manufacturers were originally expected to produce and sell more than eight million units of vehicles in the first eight months of the year.
This has been prompted by the government's stimulus plan for the auto industry which has boosted domestic demand and ensured industry growth. Now sales of China's domestically produced automobiles have totalled 1.09million units in July alone – that's up 63.57 per cent compared to a year earlier and the fifth month in a row during which auto sales exceeded one million units according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
According to Chen, the growth is likely to slow in the coming years and so domestic auto makers should focus on research and development, particularly relating to energy saving and environmentally friendly vehicles. The government has already cut the purchase tax on passenger cars to five per cent for models with engine displacements of less than 1.6litres.