SHANGHAI, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Changan Automobile Group , China’s fourth-biggest automaker by sales volume, will invest 30 billion yuan ($4.7 billion) in research and development (R&D) over the next five years, state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday.
The report comes as growth in the world’s largest auto market nears stagnation and price competition intensifies. Sales in the first nine months of 2015 rose just 0.3 percent from the same period a year earlier, industry data showed.
The manufacturer, which counts Chongqing Changan Automobile Co Ltd among its listed subsidiaries, will spend 5 percent of annual revenue from 2016 to 2020 for R&D, Xinhua quoted company Vice President Li Wei as saying at an event in the central city of Chongqing.
Chongqing Changan sold 718,310 vehicles in January-September, 15.7 percent more than a year prior. The company’s President Zhu Huarong said “technology” was a key factor behind the performance, Xinhua reported, without elaborating.
Changan Automobile is the local partner of Suzuki Motor Corp and Mazda Motor Corp, Peugeot SA and Ford Motor Co.
Ford said last month it would invest 11.4 billion yuan over the next five years to expand R&D in China, in the latest effort by the U.S. carmaker to secure a larger slice of the market. (Reporting by Shanghai newsroom; Editing by Kazunori Takada and Christopher Cushing)