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Chinese automobile exports in 2011 exceed 820000 units

China exported 824,000 automobiles last year, over 50 percent higher than its 2010 result, the Nanfang Daily reported today. The figure was confirmed by Ministry of Industry and Information Technology Minister Miao Wei, who expects Chinese automobile exports to break the one million barrier in one or two years.

According to Mr. Miao, in its three decade long history, the automobile industry has primarily relied on domestic sales. Prior to the worldwide financial crisis, Chinese automobile exports totaled 540,000 units in 2008. That number further decreased during the economic downturn. "What is very much worthy of celebration is that, in addition to recovering to pre-crisis export amounts last year, [we] have managed to export even more … automobiles," Mr. Miao said, adding that 2011 was "an exceptionally welcome start."

Mr. Miao believes that the increasing variety of vehicles available in China and the maturing of domestic manufacturers have helped the country to gain its own place in the global automobile industry. "I believe the one million target will be exceeded within just one or two years," he stated.

Increasing their presence overseas is a shared desire of most major China manufacturers, which is becoming more alluring as growth in the domestic market begins to slow. Compared with developed nations, Chinese exports are very far behind, with exports accounting for only 4.5 percent of all automobile sales last year.

According to statistics from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, China exported 61,200 vehicles in February, a year-to-year increase of 41.1 percent. Exports from the first two months of the year totaled 117,500 vehicles, 23.5 percent higher than the same period last year.