BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese car maker Chery Automobile sold 356,000 units last year, 25 percent below the target of 480,000 that it set early in 2008, the firm’s chairman said in remarks reported on Thursday.
Sales were down 6.5 percent from 381,000 in 2007.
Chery exported 130,000 cars last year, 10 percent more than in 2007, the official China Securities Journal quoted Chairman Yin Tongyue as saying.
Competition in the Chinese automobile market would be extremely fierce this year, Yin said.
“Industry-wide restructuring will accelerate in 2009 and many companies are expected to vanish. Cash flow and orders will become the most cherished resources,” the paper quoted him as saying.
However, a slew of positive factors, including lower raw material prices and a stable foreign exchange rate, will help Chinese car makers in selling cars abroad, Yin added.
He said Chery would set up manufacturing plants in countries with fast-growing car markets, but he did not say where.
Chery, best known for its QQ compact car, would introduce 16 new models this year, Yin said.
Reporting by Michael Wei; Editing by Alan Wheatley and Ken Wills