Mainland-based car maintenance equipment-maker Zhongda International is seeking a main board listing in the SAR to speed up expansion. Established as a listing vehicle of the Jiangsu province-based Zhongda Group, the company intends to use the listing proceeds to expand domestic and overseas markets, develop new products and raise production capacity. Zhongda International chairman Xu Lianguo said the company could benefit from state policies aimed at encouraging private ownership of cars and improving the domestic industry. The government projected that demand for cars would increase 50 per cent from 2000 to 2005. Growth in car demand boosted the country's annual car maintenance equipment production value to 3.8 billion yuan (about HK$3.53 billion) in 1998 from 20 million yuan in 1983. Mr Xu said demand for car equipment grew 30 per cent a year between 1993 and 1996 but slowed to 17 per cent from 1997 to last year. He projected growth would be higher in the next three years due to state policy and the shift in customer mix to individual buyers from firms. The proportion of individual car owners increased from 14.8 per cent in 1990 to 36.7 per cent in 1999. Mr Xu said increased individual ownership in the mainland would compel car-makers to improve after-sales service and those without the services to set up one. He said the mainland's car equipment market was still immature and most industry players' products and after-sales services failed to meet international standards. Started in 1992 by Mr Xu and his brother as a private company, Zhongda Group claims to have 60 per cent of the domestic market for its mainstay product - the high-temperature container for drying paint on cars, aeroplanes and other products. The core product accounted for 50 per cent of turnover with car jacks, painting works and coating lines and other equipment making up the remainder. Zhongda also sells to the United States, Japan and Europe.