China 2010 vehicle sales growth to slow – paper

BEIJING, Jan 30 (BestGrowthStock) – Growth in vehicle sales in
China could see a large slowdown this year compared with 2009
due to the robust growth-rate of that year, but sales will
still be strong, a state-run newspaper said on Saturday.

More than 13.5 million vehicles were sold in 2009, with
China overtaking the United States to become the world’s
largest auto market as government policy measures spurred
demand. [ID:nTOE60707S]

The China Daily cited a Commerce Ministry official as
saying auto sales this year were forecast to rise about
one-tenth from last year to more than 15 million units. Sales
in 2009 jumped by almost a half, the fastest in more than 10
years.

“We are still confident of sales for 2010, as the
government’s policy to stimulate consumption at all levels will
continue. But the robust growth momentum of last year cannot be
sustained,” it quoted Chang Xiaochun, head of ministry’s market
system development department as saying.

“Double-digit growth is not a difficult goal.”
[ID:nTOE60607W]

Industry observers attributed China’s strong 2009 auto
sales largely to government policy initiatives, which had
effectively lifted market sentiment and attracted buyers back
to showrooms.

A low comparative base in 2008, when car sales growth
slowed to a single-digit rate for the first time in at least 10
years, also helped inflate the 2009 rate.

China has been a major bright spot amid global recession
and a safe haven for battered industry giants such as General
Motors [GM.UL] and Ford Motor (F.N: ).

The market was likely to return to a slower but more
rational growth rate of roughly 10 percent in 2010 on continued
policy support from the government even though the renewed tax
incentives for small cars were not as aggressive as expected,
analysts have said. [ID:nTOE589909L]

Growth Stock
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Jerry Norton)

China 2010 vehicle sales growth to slow – paper