Fiat Group said yesterday it will buy engines from China's Chery Automobile Co (奇瑞汽車), expanding the ambitious Chinese automaker's foreign ties just a month after it signed a deal with Chrysler to export cars to the US.
The agreement came as global automakers look to China as a low-cost production base for export and the country's own small but fast-growing competitors try to expand sales abroad.
Chery, China's biggest domestic automaker, will supply 100,000 1.6 and 1.8-liter engines a year for use in cars manufactured by Fiat in China and abroad, the two companies said in a joint statement.
"The agreement will give Chery increased competitiveness on the international market," Yin Tongyao (尹同耀), president of 10-year-old Chery, said in the statement.
Chery and Fiat Group, a subsidiary of Italy's Fiat SpA, are looking at "further cooperation," Fiat Group CEO Sergio Marchionne was quoted as saying.
Chery, based in Wuhu, signed a deal with Chrysler LLC last month on a low-cost production venture to export cars to the US. Chrysler CEO Tom LaSorda said the two companies would jointly develop future models.
Japan's Honda Motor Co has exported Chinese-built Jazz subcompacts to Europe since 2005. Other companies have announced plans to export Chinese-made cars to the US but none has made it to market.
China overtook Japan last year to become the world's No. 2 vehicle market after the US.
The market is dominated by global automakers such as General Motors Corp and Volkswagen AG, but the country's small producers are expanding aggressively.
China's automakers exported 325,000 vehicles last year, about 80 percent of them low-priced trucks and buses for other developing markets in Asia, Africa and Latin America, the government said.
Chinese producers are eager to expand to US and European markets, but industry analysts say they lack the technology to meet environmental and safety standards on their own.
More are expected to make deals like Chery's in hopes that foreign partners will improve their skills.
"The agreement means that Fiat, who had been testing Chery's engines during the past year, have recognized the technologies and quality of the engines developed by Chery," Xinhua news agency quoted Chery deputy general manager Zhou Biren as saying.
Last year, Chery reported sales of about 310,000 cars, with 40,000 of those exported. Its target this year is 390,000 cars, with 70,000 sold abroad.
The company assembles vehicles with partners in Iran, Malaysia, Russia, Ukraine, Brazil and Egypt. It announced plans in March to open its first Latin American factory in Uruguay with an Argentine partner.
Chinese car sales rose 37 percent last year to 3.8 million, while total vehicle sales rose 25.1 percent to 7.2 million, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said.
Beijing is pressing its dozens of small auto producers to merge in order to compete with bigger, richer foreign rivals.
Last month, two of China's biggest domestic automakers, Shanghai Automotive Industries Corp and Nanjing Automobile Corp, announced a deal to combine efforts in design, production and sales.
MAKING A MOVE: Starting on Monday, short-term business travelers can apply for shorter quarantine periods, while transits of up to eight hours would be allowed The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced an easing of restrictions that would from Monday next week allow foreigners to visit or make a transit flight in Taiwan. A policy allowing short-term business travelers from countries with low or medium risks of COVID-19 infections to apply for shorter quarantine periods is also to resume that day. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that while the autumn-winter COVID-19 prevention program is to be extended after the end of this month, special conditions for foreign nationals to enter Taiwan would be restored from Monday. Foreign nationals
SPY GAMES: For more than 20 years, intelligence officers traveled to China, where they identified other MIB personnel and allegedly traded secrets for money and gifts The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday indicted four retired Military Intelligence Bureau (MIB) officials, who are accused of providing China with a list of bureau personnel and other classified materials while attempting to recruit colleagues into a spy network in Taiwan. Prosecutors charged Chang Chao-jan (張超然), Chou Tien-tzu (周天慈) and Wang Ta-wang (王大旺), former colonels at the bureau, and Yueh Chih-chung (岳志忠) — a former major general and chief of the MIB’s Fifth Bureau, where he was in charge of sending agents to China on covert assignments — with breaches of the National Security Act (國家安全法) and the National Intelligence Services
CONTINUED VIGILANCE: People would still be required to wear masks at eight types of public spaces and border controls would continue, Chen Shih-chung told reporters The government’s autumn-winter COVID-19 prevention program is to continue beyond Sunday, but eating and drinking on high-speed trains would be allowed from Monday, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that while there were no new confirmed cases in Taiwan yesterday, the global COVID-19 situation remains serious, so the autumn-winter COVID-19 prevention program would be extended beyond its Sunday deadline. “Border control measures, including requiring a negative polymerase chain reaction test result obtained within three days of boarding a plane to Taiwan, and undergoing quarantine in a
MORE RISK? Three Taiwanese family members were found to have the Brazilian variant, which CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo said might be more infectious From Wednesday, all travelers who have been in Brazil in the past 14 days are required to be quarantined at a centralized facility after arriving in Taiwan and undergo a COVID-19 test upon ending quarantine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that starting from 12am on Wednesday, all travelers arriving from Brazil, including those who have transited through the country in the past 14 days, would have to stay at a centralized quarantine facility. “They will be tested for COVID-19 upon completing the 14-day quarantine, and they