VIENNA, Austria -- Chinese carmakers will become global players in less time than it took Japanese and Koreans manufacturers, a top DaimlerChrysler executive predicts.
"Within five to eight years, you will see (the) Chinese producing cars all over the world," said Ruediger Grube, DaimlerChrysler's board member for corporate development who is in charge of the company's Chinese operations. He was part of a panel at the Automotive News Europe Congress here.
Grube predicted that Chinese car manufacturers will not use traditional methods to sell cars in Europe.
"They will begin by using other brands and networks built by other competitors," he said. "They will not go the classic way."
Michael Dunne, president of Automotive Resources Asia, a market information company based in China, said the Chinese government is pushing its domestic auto companies to go global.
"There is a saying in China: 'Walk out the door and go abroad.' The government is saying go out and compete," Dunne said.
Kevin Wale, General Motors China president, told the panel: The Chinese "want to be recognized for their ability to compete in the global market."
Last year China had 120 automotive manufacturers and suppliers. But 90 percent of them built fewer than 10,000 units.
The panelists said Chinese manufacturers quickly will grab a larger piece of their home market, where production is expected to reach 4 million vehicles this year. By 2025, the Chinese will pass the Unites States to become the world's largest car market. Twenty years ago, Chinese production was 4,000 units a year.
Grube said the Chinese will take a methodical approach to manufacturing, first producing their own parts and components, then exporting those parts along with cars.
Chery Automobile Co. and Zhejiang Geely Automobile Holdings Group are two of China's largest manufacturers, but they have struggled to find dealers in Europe and the United States.
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