SHANGHAI Feb 21 China's auto lobby has urged
Beijing to support local carmakers after the regulator said it
was considering further opening up the market to outside
investment amid a deepening row between policymakers and
state-owned car firms.
Despite foreign carmakers needing to set up joint ventures
to produce vehicles for China, foreign brands including General
Motors, Volkswagen AG, Ford Motor Co
and Toyota Motor Corp still dominate the Chinese auto
China's auto lobby is opposed to plans that would relax
foreign ownership rules for China ventures, currently capped at
"China should open the sector more to domestic investors
rather than foreign capital," Dong Yang, secretary general of
the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), said
in a statement on CAAM's website, adding only car firms with a
substantial investment from China should be given the "green
Volvo is wholly owned by Chinese carmaker Geely Automobile
Holdings Ltd, while China's Dongfeng Motor Group Co
Ltd agreed this month to buy a 14 percent stake in
struggling French carmaker Peugeot SA.
Dong's comments came days after China's auto industry
regulator said authorities plan to further open the country's
automobile industry to foreign investors. Beijing hopes opening
up will boost the competitiveness of Chinese partners through
absorbing foreign technology and management expertise.
China's central government has made "fresh calls for more
opening" and relevant bodies are "studying the issue and will
implement it", Xiao Chunquan, a spokesman of the Ministry of
Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), said this week.
The stance of CAAM, which has around 2,000 members including
China's biggest automakers such as SAIC Motor Corp Ltd
, FAW Group and Dongfeng, underscores widening
tension between the state auto industry and policymakers.
CAAM has previously voiced its opposition to relaxing rules
of foreign investment in China's auto sector.
"If China relaxes foreign ownership rules, it would be
devastating to China's indigenous brands. Chinese local brands
would be killed in the cradle," it said earlier this month.