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People's Daily Online>>China Business

China's auto sales may grow this year

By Jin Jing   (Shanghai Daily)

13:24, April 12, 2012

China's auto industry may still grow this year despite a 3.4 percent annual decline in sales in the first quarter, according to industry experts.

Auto sales, including passenger cars and commercial vehicles, fell year on year to 4.79 million units between January and March, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said yesterday. However, March sales rose 1.02 percent from the same month last year to 1.83 million units and were also 17.3 percent higher from February's.

"It's cheerful to see a sales growth last month, and the decline in first quarter sales was due to a slump in January," said Dong Yang, secretary general of CAAM.

But Dong pointed out that sales of sedans with engine lower than 1.6 liters plunged in March as the government incentives to boost their sales lapsed. "It's urgent the government continue to rev up buying sentiment," he said.

Auto sales in China, the world's largest car market, slowed to 2.5 percent last year after a 32 percent surge in 2010 when the government introduced subsidies.

Gu Huaxiang, a CAAM official, earlier said carmakers will find it hard to meet the growth target of 8 percent this year on a slowing economy and higher fuel prices.

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