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November 24, 2009

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Home » Business » Auto

Modest growth for autos in 2010

CAR makers expect the Chinese market to continue to grow moderately in 2010 after the auto industry posted bumper sales this year.

At the 7th China (Guangzhou) International Automobile Exhibition which opened yesterday, they reported hefty sales increase this year and many of them announced higher sales target and output for next year on hopes of continued government support.

"This year is a little bit over-heated," said Winfried Vahland, president and chief executive officer of Volkswagen Group China, who expects the market to grow between 10 percent and 15 percent next year. "I personally believe in the growth in China although we see the economic recovery is still not stable yet."

Volkswagen, which may sell 1.4 million vehicles this year, yesterday debuted the Golf GTI and Tiguan sport utility vehicle. It plans to launch 20 models between 2010 and 2012 in China and aims to more than triple sales in six southern areas to 500,000 units.

Nigel Harris, general manager of sales at Chang'an Ford Mazda, forecast 10 percent growth for next year and said he believed the Chinese government will continue to implement measures to support the automotive industry.

Sales of Chang'an Ford jumped 40 percent to 188,244 units for the first 10 months of the year. It is boosting capacity at its new plant in Chongqing by 150,000 units.

Amid the global slump, the Chinese auto industry surged with a 35 percent jump in sales for the first 10 months of this year thanks to government stimulus measures including tax cuts on small cars and subsidies for rural purchases. Sales are expected to be a record 13 million units this year.

Government officials earlier hinted that the incentives will be renewed next year to sustain stable market demand.

Meanwhile, the continuous growth in the market has propelled major car makers to expand their operations. Volkswagen has been considering a new plant as it wants to sell 2 million vehicles in China by 2018. Nissan is investing 5 billion yuan (US$732 million) to boost capacity in a plant in Huadu in Guangdong Province.


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