Chery Automobile said on Sunday it boosted exports 68.8% during the first quarter.

It exported 37,976 vehicles, 15,478 more than the corresponding period last year. The exports accounted for 34.9% of its sales in the first quarter, official news agency Xinhua said.

So far, the 11-year-old company, based in Wuhu, in east China's Anhui Province, has sold cars to 69 foreign countries and plans to enter another 15 countries in Central America and the Caribbean this year.

Chery plans to raise its annual output to 1m vehicles by 2010.

Vehicle sales are forecast to reach a record 480,000 units this year, after rising 24.8% year on year to 381,000 units in 2007. The company remained the country's fourth largest automobile seller in 2007, it said.

Exports, which jumped 132% to 119,800 units in 2007,were expected to rise to 180,000 this year.

A report in China also suggests that Tata Motors may be working with Chery on a new small car.

SinoCast says that a unit of Tata Motors is helping Chery develop a platform for small cars. The products to be made on the platform will target the Chinese market, the report said.