China may top Germany as No.3 auto maker
Updated: 2005-11-13 10:24
China's assemblers are likely to make and sell 6.4 million passenger cars,
vans, buses and trucks in 2006, spurring the nation to surpass Germany as the
world's third-largest vehicle maker, according to government research.
sales in Asia's second-largest economy may rise by up to 13 percent this year to
5.6 million units, according to a paper presented at a National Development and
Reform Commission conference today in Beijing.
A car dealer in Nanjing,
east China's Jiangsu Province, promotes car sales by offering
discount up to 5,000 yuan off in this October 22, 2004 file photo.
In the past few months, China’s sedan sales have stalled, auto
production has shrunk and fat profit margins have evaporated.
The growth forecast follows a recovery in consumer spending in the world's
second most-populous nation, with the economy expanding 9.4 percent in the third
quarter. General Motors Corp. and DaimlerChrysler AG said they sold more
vehicles in China in the first nine months of 2005, even as sales fell in North
America and Europe.
``The demand for vehicles will continue as long as the government continues
to foster automotive lending and make easy financing available,'' said Zhu
Baoliang, the chief economist of the government's State Information Center.
Rising income and easier loans by General Motors Acceptance Corp. and other
lenders spurred more people to buy cars. In the last 12 months, Ford Motor Co.,
Volkswagen AG, Toyota Motor Corp. and DaimlerChrysler all set up ventures in
China to lend money to car buyers, in a country where up to 80 percent of
vehicles were sold by cash.