01/09/2004, 00.00
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Chinese automobiles will invade the world

Beijing (AsiaNews) –In an interview with the People's Daily (Jan. 6) Folker Weissgerber, member of Volkswagen's board of directors, revealed that in 2007 the automobile company aims to produce 2 million vehicles in China, by way of joint ventures with two different Chinese partners. In 2003 Volkswagen predicted reaching an annual production of 1 million autos by 2007. Last year the German auto-manufacturer sold 694,000 vehicles in China; in 2002 it sold 510,000 and is now the country's main car producer. 

In terms of growth, the Chinese car market is the second largest in the world. Last year, total production in China was at 2 million vehicles. Thus, other manufacturers like Peugeot, Toyota and the China's Dongfeng Motor Corp announced plans to double or strongly increase productivity.

Experts of the sector, however, hold that the automobile industry in China will soon suffer from overproduction due to such heavy investment, new plants built and the increased volumes of foreign and local companies. The prediction is that not many of the Chinese exports will also be able to compete with production in the homeland's own automobile sector.

By establishing auto production lines and plants in China, which are newer than those of their original establishments,  foreign automobile makers will have to cut jobs at plants in their own countries --seeing as  low Chinese salaries are not easily proposable in the West.    

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