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China on track to become automotive powerhouse
January 4, 2013, 7:01 pm

A model stands beside a car during the 2012 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition . [Getty Images]

A model stands beside a car during the 2012 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition . [Getty Images]

Analysts are predicting that China’s automotive industry will continue to grow by at least 10 per cent in 2013, fueled partly by domestic demand as well as ambitious overseas expansion.

The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) said in a statement on its website that China’s auto production in November increased by nearly 11 per cent compared with October, and up 3.92 per cent compared with the same period of last year.

A growing middle class and increased affordability of locally manufactured vehicles has stimulated domestic consumption.

Domestic automobile sales stood at 1,791,000 units in November, an increase of 11.52 per cent compared with October, and increased more than 8.16 per cent compared with the same period of last year, CAAM says.

The figures put China at the top of the list of global automotive producers and consumers. The German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) said in a press release last month: “One million more new cars have already been sold on the Chinese market than on the Western European market.”

Expected production growth in the US is about 5 per cent while a sluggish economy, austerity measures and unemployment have seen output fall to 3.2 per cent in Europe.

“Yet apparently the debt crisis in the euro zone over the last two years has made customers uncertain,” VDA President Matthias Wissmann said in a press release in late November.

“The year 2013 will be a challenging one for the [European] automotive industry,” Wissmann added.

According to VDA, the drop of demand in Europe – from 13.6 million to 11.8 million cars – in 2012 will likely continue into 2013.

TBP with input from Agencies

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