China Auto Sales to Reach 20 Million Vehicles in 2013 image

Analysts expect auto sales in China to increase 5% this year to 20 million vehicles, due to rising incomes and a rebound in economic growth.

Ye Shengji, deputy secretary general of the state-backed China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, said that in 2012 auto sales in China increased 4% to 5% to about 19 million vehicles, and he believes that in 2013 the competition in the country will intensify, as more foreign automakers will boost incentives to gain market share.

“China’s auto sales will retain stable growth along with the economy,” said Ye, who spoke at a forum in Hainan, China, today. “Local automakers will face bigger challenges on maintaining and growing their market share.”

As China’s industry will continue to increase, VW and GM will race for the no.1 place amid foreign automakers in a market which is predicted to surpass combined sales of Japan, Germany and the US by 2015. VW, which has lost the lead in China in 2004, is expected to sell around 2.7 million vehicles this year in the country, while GM will probably sell 2.65 million vehicles.

“Automakers from luxury carmakers to compact-car makers will have to fight more fiercely this year with more attractive products and pricing,” said Vivien Chan, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Oriental Patron Holdings.