The majority of compact cars manufactured by China’s major car makers have met
state quality standards in the nation’s first national inspection of such vehicles,
senior government officials announced yesterday, China Daily reported.

The State General Administration for Quality Supervision and Inspection and
Quarantine, which conducted the inspection, said it expects the results to reassure
Chinese families, who have demonstrated an increasingly strong desire for cars.

The bureau selected eight sedans produced by the country’s eight leading car
manufacturers – including Shanghai Volkswagen, Shanghai GM and Changchun-based
First Volkswagen Works (FAW) – for the inspection, which concentrated primarily
on safety, environmental suitability, reliability and overall basic function.

The prices of these models, including the currently popular Buick Sail and
Xiali 2000, average 100,000 yuan (US$12,000), a price widely believed to now
be affordable in China.

"In general, we are satisfied with the inspection results," senior
bureau official Wu Jinsheng told China Daily.

The results showed all eight models, in addition to passing noise braking tests,
also met European I emission standards. A majority also satisfied more stringent
European II emission standards.

The Chinese government will require all in-use cars to meet the tougher standard
by 2005 to reduce mounting air pollution in urban areas.

Every model was found to be generally reliable, with a few experiencing only
minor problems in road tests. The Buick Sail, Xiali 2000 and Chang’an Suzuki
were completely flawless in the tests.

Six out of the eight sampled models use a majority of domestically-made parts.

The Sail, Volkswagen Jetta, Santana 2000 and Fukang models were equipped with
anti-lock brakes and electriconic anti-theft devices.