Lifan Group, one of China’s biggest motorcycle makers, plans to produce its first sedan by the end of 2004 after investing $US100 million in a car plant in southwest China.

According to the Access Asia website, Lifan, headquartered in Chongqing, also hopes to list on the Hong Kong or mainland stock exchanges later this year to raise RMB300 million to 400 million and will invest this to produce 10,000 to 20,000 sedans in 2005, rising to 100,000 cars within five years.

Lifan’s sales reached RMB4.58 billion last year, with exports worth $200 million, mostly to the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia.