China: automotive body predicts a slowdown in sales image

The Asian country, the largest single automotive market in the world, has seen its first half sales rise from the record level set last year, but now the state-backed auto association is predicting a change.

Though the new car sales trend will remain positive, because China’s economy is also slowing down and more cities mull new car sales caps to fight pollution and traffic, the total for the year could reach 23.83 million units. That’s a smaller 8.3% increase from the figure last year – when for the first time ever a country broke the 20 million units barrier – and a decrease from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers forecast of a 10% jump, made in January. In 2013, the sales advanced 14%.

“We believe the economy hasn’t shown obvious signs of improvement in the second half,” said Xu Haidong, director of the auto association’s trade coordination department. “It’s hard to say whether more local governments will issue restrictions this year but this is definitely one of the risks we have to take into account.”

In the first six months of the year sales grew 11% to 9.6 million vehicles, according to CAAM’s figures, but deliveries for the commercial segment went down 3.2 % to 2.04 million units.The latter is closely tied to the economic growth, with China’s gross domestic product growing at the slowest pace since 2012.

Via Bloomberg