Geely Automobile, the Chinese automaker whose parent company owns Volvo Cars, predicted its sales growth will slow this year to less than half the pace of 2013 and trail the industry in the world’s largest auto market.
The Hong Kong-based company said in a statement to the city’s stock exchange that deliveries will climb by about 6 % to 580,000 units, while the automaker boosted sales by 14 % to 549,518 units last year, missing its own 560,000 target. The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers forecast industry demand would expand by 8 to 10 %.
Geely’s sales prediction follows Great Wall’s decision to delay the introduction of its most expensive sport utility vehicle by three months to fix technical deficiencies. Chinese automakers have seen their combined market share at home fall as exports dropped for the first time in five years because of unstable overseas demand and insufficient competitiveness, according to the auto association.
Geely has said that it plans to start exporting cars that it develops with Volvo Cars to the U.S. in 2016, a decade after founder Li Shufu first set the goal. The automaker’s shares have declined 11 % since Jan. 1 in Hong Kong trading after gaining 2.2 % last year. The stock fell 2 % to close at HK$3.34 yesterday.
China became the first country to see domestic sales surpass 20 million units a year in 2013. Deliveries will rise as much as 10 % in 2014 after last year’s 14 % growth, the state-backed auto association said this month.