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Automotive Report China 3rd Quarter 2018

Automotive Report China 3rd Quarter 2018

  • July 2018
  • ID: 1698329
  • Format: PDF
  • By The Economist Intelligence Unit


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  • China has been the world's largest vehicle market, as well as its biggest car manufacturer, since 2009. The Economist Intelligence Unit expects it to extend its lead over the US by 2022. China's vehicle output measured 29m in 2017, up by 3.2%. Pre-approved plans by vehicle-makers to expand production in China will boost capacity in 2018-22, even if no new players enter the market.
  • Rules announced in September 2017 will see all volume carmakers obliged to derive a rising share of their sales from new energy vehicles (NEVs) from 2019 onwards. NEVs include both electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrids. The targets will be hard for leading foreign carmakers to attain until they roll out new models.
  • China's light vehicle sales exceeded 24.7m units in 2017, but growth slowed to just 1.7% from 15.1% in 2016. Commercial vehicle (CV) sales, comprising trucks and buses, rose by 14.9% in 2017, up from 5.6% in 2016. In January-May 2018 new car sales were up 5.1% year on year, with those of NEVs up by 142%.

  • We have raised our forecast for China's economic growth, which is expected to average 5.9% a year in 2018-22. However, car sales may be undermined by several factors, including a cut in NEV subsidies, the introduction of NEV targets and the plethora of used vehicles on offer. We expect the car market to improve by 6.2% this year and expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.8% in 2018-22. By 2022 car sales will near 33m.
  • The CV market will remain volatile over the forecast period, slowing in 2018 as it corrects from rapid growth in 2017. Sales will rebound more strongly in 2019, before expanding at a more moderate rate during 2020-22. Over the five-year forecast period we expect CV sales to rise at a CAGR of 6.7%. Total motor vehicle sales will near 40m by the end of our forecast period.
  • China cut tariffs on cars starting on July 1st.and pledged to allow greater foreign ownership of manufacturing companies. However, new tariffs have been imposed by both sides as the world's two largest economies moved towards a fully-fledged trade war.

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