China's leading automotive corporation, the SAIC Group, expects to sell 2.65 million vehicles this year, a roughly 30 percent rise from a year ago, a company official said Monday.
The SAIC Group, or Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, sold a total of 2.17 million vehicles in the first ten months this year. "Sales for the whole year will likely hit 2.65 million units, surpassing Suzuki and Fiat to become the world's eighth largest car company," said Group vice chairman Chen Hong.
Chen made the remarks while attending an auto show held in southern Guangzhou city, Guangdong province. The group sold about 1.83 million units last year.
Chen said due to the impact of the global financial crisis, multinational car companies had not fared well this year, while the SAIC group benefited from the booming car market in China.
In January this year, the Chinese government approved a series of industrial support packages including tax cuts and subsidies for car purchases in a bid to spur consumption. This had driven car sales to record highs.
In the first ten months of this year, auto sales in China broke the 10 million mark and reached 10.89 million units, up 36.23 percent from a year ago, surpassing the United States as the world's largest auto market.
Chen forecast the country's total sales would reach 13.4 million units this year, and 20 million by 2014.