SHANGHAI -- Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp., China's largest carmaker and the main local partner of General Motors and Volkswagen, plans to become one of the world's top six automakers by 2020, a senior executive said Tuesday.
That would mean Shanghai Auto, which is looking at an overseas listing to raise a reported $2 billion but is now a minnow in the global car arena, would have to knock an already deeply entrenched global manufacturer off its perch.
GM had pole position in 2003, followed by Toyota Motor Corp. and Ford Motor Co. Shanghai Auto did not even make it into the top 10.
Shanghai Auto -- which now only makes cars in partnership with GM and VW -- would also face stiff competition from the likes of South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co., which wants to become one of the world's top five automakers by 2010.
The state-run giant, which in July agreed to buy part of South Korea's Ssangyong Motor Co. for a reported $500 million, would keep seeking acquisitions overseas and also develop its own brand, said Vice President Xiao Guopu.
"By 2020, we want to double what we will achieve in 2010, becoming one of the world's top six automakers," Xiao told a forum in the city's western suburbs.
Chinese companies are known for announcing ambitious, ultralong term targets.
Shanghai Auto's objective would entail making 4 million vehicles a year and annual sales of 800 billion yuan ($96.66 billion), Xiao said. Sales stood at $11.74 billion in 2003.
Last year, Shanghai Auto sold just 782,000 vehicles. It now only makes minibuses and a few other commercial vehicles under its own brand.
By comparison, GM sold 4.7 million vehicles in the United States alone in 2003.
However, Shanghai Auto's ventures with GM and VW have announced plans to as much as double production over the next three years.
Foreign automakers have unveiled plans to invest some $13 billion to triple capacity to about 6 million cars a year by the end of the decade, prompting fears of a margin-sapping glut just down the road.
Shanghai Auto had appointed Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley to help arrange its overseas initial public offering, a source familiar with the plan said in July.