It’s “realistic” for China’s vehicle market to double in size over the next decade, according to Wang Dazong, president of Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co. At the Automotive News World Congress, Dazong estimated that by 2020, the annual sales of cars, buses and heavy trucks may total 40 million units.
In 2010, sales totaled 18.3 million units. Wang noted that this would result to an 11% annual sales growth or less than half the 24% annual growth rate of the past decade. Wang explained that if this projection comes true, nearly half of global vehicle production would be focused in China.
But while Dazong thinks that Chinese products will be seen on a global stage, he doesn’t think that China will follow Japan and will become a major vehicle exporter. Wang estimates that China will make up 50% of the world's sales volume, indicating that automakers will build vehicles in China for the domestic market.
In the last decade, auto sales have been propelled by the demand seen in rich Chinese coastal cities such as Shanghai and Guangzhou.
Currently, a growing middle class has been observed in China's less prosperous inland cities. In the past, low-priced cars sold by domestic Chinese automakers such as Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. and Chery Automobile Co. were preferred by the price-sensitive customers in inland markets.