China: Automobile exports may exceed 800,000 units this year image

Automotive exports from China rose year-on-year by over 50% in September 2011, and is expected to exceed 800,000 this year, the Shenzhen Economic Daily said in a report.

In addition, China exported 614,000 vehicles in the first nine months of the year the China Association for Automobile Manufacturers said.

According to statistics from the General Administration of Customs, total imports and exports from January to August were 31 percent higher than for the same time period last year, while total money generated grew 34 percent.

Last month – in August passenger vehicle imports totaled 316,177 units, 83 percent higher than last year, while exports from that month hit a record 223,776, 37 percent higher than 2010.

September vehicle sales in China turned out stronger than expected with volumes up 8 percent year-on-year to 1.6 million units, the second highest this year.

However, rising wages in China have reached the point at which foreign manufacturers need to give up on the notion of the country as a low-cost production base.

“We need to let go of our perception that the Chinese market is a low-cost production base,” Mr Noh told a group of reporters at Hyundai’s office in Beijing.

Last year, China exported 544,900 cars, a figure dwarfed by the 813,600 that were imported. Moreover, the cars imported tended be of higher value than those exported.