The crown as the No. 1 foreign carmaker in China in 2013 is expected to go to either German auto company Volkswagen AG or US-based vehicle giant General Motors Co. This comes as their traditional Japanese rivals like Toyota Motor Corp. face uncertainty in China due to a territorial row between the country and Japan.
VW last led vehicle sales in China in 2004, and is expected to become a big threat to GM. According to industry researcher JSC Automotive Consulting, VW is expected to sell 2.7 million vehicles in China in 2013, helped by the popularity of its luxury Audi sedans with Chinese bureaucrats and buoyed by eight new or revamped models including the Santana, Golf, Skoda Octavia and Audi Q3.
JSC Automotive Consulting, meanwhile, said that GM would sell around 2.65 million vehicles in the Asian country, boosted by new offerings like the Cadillac XTS and three Opel models.
According to eight analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News, passenger-vehicle sales in China would likely accelerate and grow up to 10 percent in 2013, when a rebound in Chinese economy is expected to occur.
New Chinese leaders that would take their seats in March 2013 may introduce economic stimulus to boost domestic demand, Autoforesight Shanghai Co., LMC Automotive and Synergistics Ltd. forecast. Lin Huaibin, an analyst for IHS Automotive in China, remarked that when the economy stabilizes, consumers in China will have more confidence to acquire cars, adding that a lot of indicators have shown Chinese economic improvement since September 2012.
Foreign carmakers are boosting their investment in China, hoping to offset their dwindling sales in Europe with the robust demand for vehicles in the Asian country. According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, total vehicle sales may exceed 19 million units in 2012. Toyota is expected to recapture its title as the largest carmaker in world in 2012, with VW and GM fighting for second place in the final week of the year