Guangzhou Honda, a venture between Hong Kong-listed Denway Motors and Honda, will be relying equally on domestic and Japanese talents to develop its first own brand. At a press briefing in Guangzhou yesterday, the company said about half the engineers in a planned research and development centre for the new model will be mainlanders, with the rest coming from Japan. The company did not specify the type of car it would build or to give it a name but said that it would be ready at the end of the decade. Guangzhou Honda Wednesday announced it will invest two billion yuan to develop and launch its own model, making it the first foreign motors joint venture to do so. 'All the Chinese carmakers are seeking growth now,' said Fu Shoujie, the company's executive vice president. 'The domestic carmaker that takes the lead in the market will be in an advantageous position.' After years of producing models with foreign brands such as Volkswagen and Buick, mainland carmakers are pumping funds into developing their own cars as a way of breaking into foreign markets. Honda has already localised 85 per cent of its mainland manufacturing and hopes to sell 400,000 vehicles in the country this year, an increase of 25 per cent. Guangzhou Honda said it wanted to build a stable demand for its own branded model before testing markets overseas. Its Japanese partner estimated that by 2010, mainland vehicle sales could hit 10 million units. Honda, which also has research centres in the US and Thailand, took 20 years to sell 1.5 million vehicles in the US so it expected to take time to develop models for the mainland and build market share. 'China is expected to need 10 to 30 years to master the development of self-branded models,' said Eiji Okawara, president of Guangzhou Honda's research and development. He noted that one of the benefits of developing the brand jointly was the sharing of costs with the partner. Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp, the largest domestic carmaker, is also planning to export its self-branded model, the Roewe 750, with Western Europe and the United States as target markets. The company sold 7,500 Roewe 750 cars in the first half of the year after launching it in January.