China – auto sales in April show first sign of weakness image

According to the figures reported by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, sales ow new vehicles in the country, the world’s largest auto market, slid 0.5 percent last month as demand is being hampered by the slowing economy.

The Chinese auto market has been forecasted to cease its double-digit expansion seen in recent years as the consumer sentiment is being impacted by the prediction of an economy growth that will reach the level seen back at the start of the 1990s. Additionally, the global export market for Chinese-produced vehicles has continued to shrink for the fourth consecutive month, according to CAAM figures. The major woes are the weaker Japanese yen and Korean won that has lifted sales of the Asian automakers and the regional instability in markets such as Russia and Iraq. The state-backed association also sees its initial forecast of 7 percent growth for the entire year harder and harder to meet, with the first four months of the year only edging by 2.8 percent the tally seen during the same period of 2014.

Also, the CAAM says the export tally of 860,000 units for the entire year will also be missed, despite the government-implemented “Made in China 2025” campaign that seeks to create global industry leaders, including in the automotive sector. The Chinese automakers found a very small market gap abroad – competing in the entry-level category – but the unfavorable currency swings are becoming harder to overcome. April exports only reached 61,600 units compared to almost 2 million sales for the internal market (overall, with foreign automakers).

Via Reuters