Ford: Chinese carmarket very strong even if economy slows down image

The Chinese economy grew at an average of 10.4 percent per year from 2001 to 2011, but now, looks like is slowing down; it decelerated for the past 13 consecutive quarters.

However Ford CEO Alan Mulally said on Tuesday he was not overly concerned about a slowdown in growth in China, stressing it is still a “tremendous” market for the group.

“China is the largest automobile market in the world and we’re the fastest growing brand in China. Our best estimate right now is that [China] will continue to expand within that 6-8 percent (GDP) growth range.”

Ford, benefitting from the release of new models, said shipments increased by 71% during the month of July (year-on-year). While most economists expect the growth rate for China’s economy to slow to about 7.5% this year, new car sales are looking good as last month the semiofficial China Association of Automobile Manufacturers industry group said there were sold over 1.21 million vehicles in July. That exceeds June’s 9.3% pace and May’s 9%, both over a year earlier. Sales for the first seven months totaled 12.30 million units, the group said, up 12.0 per cent from a year earlier but lower than the 12.3 per cent growth registered in the first half. “People are still willing to spend on cars and property-related consumption,” said Lin Huaibin, a managing director at market researcher IHS, which forecasts passenger-vehicle sales will rise 13% this year over last.