China's largest 14 state-owned producers reported combined earnings of Yn18bn in the first half of the year, up 100 per cent from the first half of 2002, according to figures from the State Assets Regulatory and Administration Commission. The top three producers – First Automotive Works (FAW), Dongfeng Motor and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp (SAIC) – accounted for more than 90 per cent of the profits.
Sales of Chinese-made passenger cars surged 82 per cent to reach 842,800 units, while overall vehicle sales increased 32 per cent to 2.03m units. Despite this boom, three producers – Beijing Automotive Holdings, Tianjin FAWand Nanjing Yuejin Automobile Group – made losses totalling Yn80m in the period.
Car output in July rose 71 per cent yearon- year to 170,090 units, the second highest monthly tally so far this year. However, the National Bureau of Statistics warned that a new round of price wars is possible in the second half of 2003 as more new models are put into mass production.