Bloomberg News

China Auto Group Forecasts Faster Second-Half Car Sales

July 26, 2012

China’s passenger-vehicle sales will probably accelerate in the second half driven by strong demand from first-time buyers and as the world’s second-largest economy rebounds, according to the state-backed auto group.

Wholesale deliveries, including multipurpose and sport utility vehicles, may rise 11 percent to 16.09 million units this year, according to Shi Jianhua, deputy secretary general of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Second-half sales will rise 15 percent to 8.48 million units, compared with a 7.1 percent pace in the first six months when 7.61 million units were delivered, according to the association.

“There are indications that China’s economy will be better in the second half and that will help spur car demand,” Shi said at a forum in Beijing today. “People who were born in the 1980s are becoming the main source of car buyers. There’s a structural demand for cars that will rise steadily for a long time.”

The state-backed group is making the forecast for faster sales amid the slowest economic growth in three years and as caps on car registrations led to a glut at dealerships. The government isn’t offering details on any steps to help the industry with a large-scale stimulus plan.

“I didn’t expect such numbers to come,” said Han Weiqi, an analyst with CSC International Holdings Ltd. “The association seems too optimistic to me. To reach such a sales expansion pace in the second half, some stimulus policies have to be in place or with GDP growth soaring through the roof.”

The auto association maintained its forecast for total vehicle sales, which includes trucks and buses, to rise 5 percent to 8 percent this year. The group cut its full-year estimate for commercial vehicle sales to 3.91 million units from the previous prediction of 4.11 million units made in January.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Tian Ying in Beijing at ytian@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net


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