SHANGHAI -- Germany's Robert Bosch GmbH aims to invest 650 million euros ($759 million) in China by 2007, while doubling sales to 2.5 billion euros during the same period, its top executive said.
The privately held industrial group expects sales in China this year to jump 20 percent on-year to hit 1.2 billion euros, Chairman Franz Fehrenbach said in a statement ahead of a media event, as breakneck economic growth fuels car buying among an increasingly wealthy population.
Bosch, whose products range from ignition plugs to washing machines, also intends to double its purchasing in China by 2007, from 670 million euros currently, Fehrenbach said on Thursday.
The company, which had invested 550 million euros in China up to 2004, has said it is aggressively pursuing growth opportunities in the fast-expanding Chinese and Indian auto markets.
Fehrenbach added that sales in Asia-Pacific were expected to account for 25 percent of the group's total sales by 2010, up from 14 percent now.
Global automakers such as Volkswagen AG, General Motors and Toyota Motor Corp. are spending some $15 billion to triple annual capacity in China to more than 7 million cars by 2008, which has sparked fears of a glut.
However, car sales in China climbed a moderate 17.9 percent in the first 10 months of this year. Growth had slowed to just 15 percent in 2004 after a near-doubling in 2003, as Beijing cracked down on easy auto loans.
Experts now expect the market to grow just 10-15 percent in 2005 as Beijing keeps up credit curbs aimed at bringing about a soft landing of the world's seventh-largest economy.
China's top economic planner warned earlier in November the country would be able to produce twice as many vehicles as it needs by 2010 if the current investment frenzy in the automotive sector went unchecked.
Vehicle production capacity in China is expected to hit 20 million units in 2010, far outpacing anticipated sales of only 9 million units, an official with the National Development and Reform Commission was quoted as saying in local media.
Annual capacity, now at 8 million units, has already exceeded expected sales of 5.5 million units this year, but investments have shown no signs of cooling, the official said.