China auto market to keep growing until 2020, GM says image

General Motors expects to see a slow but steady growing pace of the Chinese car market until the end of the decade.

General Motors’ China head, Matt Tsien, believes the Chinese auto market will expand with a 3 to 5 percent increase rate every year until 2010. He recently said at a press conference in Beijing that the sales driver will continue to be the SUV segment and the premium one, with SUV and MPV accounting for 40 percent of automaker’s overall China volume. General Motors is planning to introduce 60 new or refreshed models by the end of the year, out of which at least 10 will be environmentally friendly vehicles launched in China, Tsien said.

Analysts say the world’s largest auto market has entered a period of unprecedented uncertainty as the economy grows at its slowest pace in 25 years. Car sales nearly contracted last year before a fourth quarter recovery, thanks to a tax cut on small engine vehicles introduced in October that extends until the end of 2016. General Motors has started the year with record sales in China, but the upward trend was abruptly stopped last month, when the Detroit-based company announced a 9.3 percent drop in the world’s biggest auto market, thus raising again concerns about the Chinese economy.

Furthermore, the country’s auto market reported a surprising 0.9 percent drop in February, the first time in six months when the demand fell. However, for the first two months of 2016, sales grew 4.4 percent compared with the same period a year earlier, according to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Via Reuters