China’s biggest car maker First Automotive Works (FAW) has raised this year’s sales target to 500,000 vehicles from 450,000 due to a strong performance in the first six months of 2002, Reuters reported.

FAW, which makes Volkswagen saloons, and recently merged with Tianjin Automotive Industry, sold 400,000 vehicles last year, Reuters said.

“As for a profit target, we haven’t made an adjustment yet. But judging from the 500,000 sales target, the original profit aim of more than 2.5 billion yuan ($US302 million) will definitely be realised,” an FAW spokesman told Reuters.

Reuters said that FAW sold 280,000 vehicles in the first six months of 2002, up 41% from the same period last year.

Its Volkswagen joint venture makes the mid-to high-end Jetta, Audi and Bora cars and its listed unit FAW Car Co makes its own Red Flag brand, Reuters said.

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Sales revenue was 43.15 billion yuan and profit 2.15 billion yuan, up 37.3% and 34.3% year on year respectively, Reuters said.