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China aims to become world auto-making powerhouse

Updated: Apr 25,2017 1:51 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China is aiming to become a world auto-making powerhouse in a decade, vowing to boost development of new energy vehicles (NEVs) and relax restrictions on foreign ownership.

The country will strive to achieve breakthroughs in key technologies and markedly increase the share of Chinese brands in the international auto market by 2025, according to an auto industry development plan released on April 25 by three government departments, including the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

By 2020, China will see NEV output and sales hit 2 million annually, the plan said.

That number is about four times the current level. China sold 507,000 NEVs last year, the most in the world for a second year and up 53 percent from 2015, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

Restrictions on foreign ownership in the country’s joint-venture carmakers will be relaxed “in an orderly manner,” the plan noted.

China, the world’s largest auto market, caps foreign stakes in joint ventures in the domestic auto industry at 50 percent.

The government plan also predicted China’s annual auto output to reach around 30 million by 2020 and 35 million by 2025.

Auto sales in the country hit a record high of 28.03 million in 2016, up 13.7 percent year on year, according to CAAM.

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