China’s auto exports up 49.96% last year image

China’s vehicle exports rose almost 50 percent (49.96 percent) from a year earlier to 849,900 vehicles, the automobile branch of the China Chamber of Commerce for the Import & Export of Machinery & Electronic Products (CCCME-AUTO) said on Wednesday.

China exported automobiles to 190 countries and regions last year, with Russia, Brazil and Iranaccounting for most of China’s automobile export value, CCCME AUTO said.

“Demand for vehicles has been picking up in developing markets such as Russia, Saudi Arabia and Brazil,” Yang said in a phone interview today.

“Chinese automakers are actively investing in overseas markets.”

However, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said Thursday that 1.16 million passenger cars were sold in China in January, down from a monthly record 1.5 million a year earlier.

Industry insiders are divided on the market outlook for the full year, with forecast growth ranging from less than 5 percent to well over 10 percent. But few are expecting the breakneck expansion seen in 2009 and 2010 to recur.

Foreign automakers, whose sales have tended to perform better than their domestic competitors, are also feeling the pinch.

General Motors Co. and its joint ventures reported selling 246,654 vehicles in January, down 8 percent from a year earlier, though up 25 percent from the month before.

The CPCA predicts that due to the Spring Festival having finished and February having 21 working days, sales this month should be higher than last February. However it remains to be seen whether or not it will be able to top January’s performance.