The China Daily newspaper reports that Mercedes-Benz plans to almost double the number of its service centres in China to 46 by the end of 2004. Currently, Mercedes-Benz has 24 service centres in China.

The executive and luxury car market in China is expected to see strong growth in the future, stimulated by lower prices and rising incomes following China's entry to the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The China Daily report says that BMW sold more than 1,000 units in the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong during the first two months of this year, while Audi reports that sales of the A6 model made in China are expected to increase to 29,000 units this year.

Volvo Car has set an annual China sales target of more than 10,000 units by 2012 (versus around 2,000 per annum now).

BMW is awaiting the Chinese Government's approval for the establishment of a joint venture with China Brilliance Group, which recently announced a strategic tie-up with Britain's MG Rover.