CHENGDU – The Chinese carmaker Chery Automobile aims to start exporting to Europe after 2015, a senior executive said.
"Currently, we are still focusing on Russia and South America, among others, as our major export markets. Our goal is to start selling vehicles in Europe after 2015," Lu Jianhui, deputy general manager of Chery, told an industry forum in the southern Chinese city of Chengdu on Tuesday.
Chery expects to ship 180,000 vehicles overseas this year, double last year's roughly 90,000 units, Lu said.
The number would hopefully increase to 1 million units in 7 to 8 years, he added.
Chery, which started selling cars overseas in 2002, is now China's biggest auto exporter.
Last month, a German newspaper reported that Chery had established a 1.5 billion euro joint venture with Israel Corp., to build three compact models to be be sold in China and also exported to Europe from next year onwards. The vehicles will be developed by the Austrian supplier Magna Steyr, the report said.
The joint venture, Chery Quantum Auto, told the newspaper that it will announce further details in November.
Chinese companies have made efforts in the past to break into the European market, but a reputation for poor build quality and poor results in safety tests have led to low sales.
Sources; Reuters; with contributions from David Jolley