Manufacturing News

China auto sales expected to rise 1.4% in 2015 as market softens

Automakers are expected to sell 23.4 million light vehicles in China this year -- an increase of just 1.4 percent from 2014, according to a revised forecast by IHS Automotive, a consulting group based in suburban Detroit.

IHS previously forecast a sales gain of 4.4 percent. But China's slumping stock market and move to devalue its currency in August "suggests a significant rebound in light vehicle sales is unlikely in the coming months," IHS concluded in a new report.

While China's coastal region and Tier One cities have borne the brunt of the downturn, the sales slowdown is widespread, IHS noted. Out of 340 Chinese cities monitored by IHS, nearly one fourth have reported lower vehicle sales.

Industry sales of light vehicles in China have declined in June, July and August. According to the consulting firm, a sales decline in three consecutive months has occurred just once in the last 15 years -- in 2008, during the global recession.

In 2016, IHS analysts expects light-vehicle sales in China to rise 3 percent to 24.2 million vehicles. Lower new-vehicle prices and lower interest rates will boost sales a bit. And the government also may accelerate a scrappage program to eliminate 14 million older vehicles by 2017.

In 2017, IHS expects the recovery to continue, as light-vehicle sales rise to 25.9 million units.

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