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China’s auto sales may remain flat in 2019

China’s auto sales in 2019 may remain flat or increase slightly compared with this year, Shi Jianhua, deputy secretary-general of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said at the 6th Symposium On Automotive and Environment 2018 held by Gasgoo.

In the first ten months, the auto sales and output in China reached 22.83 million and 22.87 million, down 0.4% and 0.1% respectively from a year ago. The deputy secretary-general attributed the negative growth to such factors as the overdraft of demand becuase of the preferential policy in cutting purchasing tax in the past couple years, the slowdown of domestic investment, the increasingly stricter environment policies, the ahead-of-schedule implementation of China 6 emission standard and the China-US trade friction.

Product quality will become more and more important. The slower growth rate can make the auto industry think rationally to improve the product competitiveness for future development. The mid-to-high end models and electric vehicles will play a more and more important role and the marketing will be more and more refined. Since the beginning of this year, the downward trend of SUV mainly comes from low-end models and quality will outweigh other factors after the frenzied SUV boom ends.

Shi expects that it is probable for 2019 to see auto market adjustment. Under a more and more competitive market background, foreign brands will lower the price and the model while local brands are striving for more market share. In Shi's opinion, companies are likely to seek cooperation and cross-board integration to enhance competitiveness. The pace of the survival and the resources integration will be accelerated and the industrial concentration will be improved.