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Shanghai. August 27 ( ¨C China's home-grown automakers have sold 745,798 sedans in the first seven month of this year. These local brand cars represent 28 percent of China's total sedan market, according to China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

This is the first time ever that China's local brand cars gained bigger market share than any of foreign brand cars or joint venture cars sold in Chinese market, the CAAM report said.

China's all-powerful National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has recently released a list of automakers and their car models that have obtained licenses from government for production and sales.

There are 18 new car models listed in this NDRC list and 14 of them are produced by homegrown automakers, according to the CAAM report.

"Homegrown automakers have quickened their pace in launching new models. They have launched more new car models than their joint venture competitors," said Zhang Shulin, an auto expert from NDRC. "I believe this trend will continue for a while."

Two new car models with 1.3 and 1.5 liters engines produced by Jiangnan Automobile are included in the NDRC list. Chery has four models in the list: Tiggo 2.0L, A5 1.8L, Qiyuan 1.2L and 1.6L. Changan Auto has one 1.3L economic car listed. Geely Auto also has 4 to-be-launched sedan models in the list and Brilliance Auto has three.

Only two or three sedans made by those Sino-foreign joint ventures, such as Mazda 3, are included in the list.

The top ten best-selling sedans made by home-grown players in the first seven months include Chery QQ, FAW Xiali, Mazda Familia, Chery Qiyun, BYD F3, Brilliance Junjie, Chery A5, Geely Ziyoujian, Changan Benben and Geely Jingang, according to a market research report.

Total sales volume of the above ten brand sedans reached 160,118 units, representing 72 percent of China's total local-brand sedan sales.

R&D boosts home-grown brand sales

Chinese home-grown auto makers, such as Chery, Geely and Brilliance, have revamped their strategy by huge investments in R&D. Chery spends 10 to 15 percent of its total sales revenue annually in developing new car models. The Wuhu-based auto maker has applied for more than 1,000 patents over the past ten years, which include 161 invention patents and 640 designing patents.

Brilliance Auto has also developed many new vehicle platforms to avoid depending solely on its partners for developing new car models.

In addition, China's three domestic car giants, including First Automobile Works (FAW) Corporation, Shanghai Automotive Co Ltd(SAIC), and Dongfeng Motor Corporation, has injected a total amount of 40 billion yuan (US$5.28 billion) in their latest programs to develop car models with independent intellectual property rights (IPRs).
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