BEIJING: China is expected to produce 8.5 million automobiles in 2007 and the booming auto industry's contribution to the GDP is also rising, a top economic planner has said.
By the end of 2006, output value of China's auto industry accounted for 3.7 per cent of China's gross domestic production (GDP), vice minister of National Development and Reform Commission, Zhang Guobao said.
Meanwhile, employment in auto and auto-related industries accounted for one-sixth of the nation's total workforce, he was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.
In 2006, China's auto output and sales increased by 22 per cent and 23 per cent to 4.5 million and 4.4 million units respectively.
China produced 5.75 million motor vehicles in the first eight months of this year, up 23.6 per cent over the same period last year, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
Official statistics show that China exported 294,000 autos in the first seven months this year, up 70.3 per cent from the corresponding period last year. Auto exports may exceed 500,000 units for the whole year.
China's auto industry has developed vigorously to withstand challenges posed by the country's entry into the WTO in 2001 and even overtook Japan to become the world's No.2 auto market.
China's auto industry was able to withstand the pressures due to three factors: the country's sound economic environment, its solid industrial foundation and sharpened competitive edge in the global market for improved product quality, industry experts said.