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Auto sector enters new era of growth
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2008-09-24 13:14

By Wang Weiwei

When the auto production and sales volumes in China respectively reach to 8.88 million and 8.79 million in 2007, people were once very sure about that the auto production and sales volumes in China will both break 10 million in 2008. However, as a series of influencing factors appear in 2008 and thus the sales drop since April, people become uncertain about the future of the national auto market.

The statistics show that the national auto market is still in the increasing trend now, but the speed is slowing down to some extent. According to the statistics of China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, the auto production and sales volumes respectively reach to 5,932,100 and 5,849,000 from January to July this year, with 16 percent and 16.66 percent growths over the same time last year, of which the passenger vehicle to 4,196,900 and 4,099,300, with 15.71 percent and 15.79 percent growths over the same time last year; the commercial vehicle to 1,735,200 and 1,749,700, with 16.69 percent and 18.76 percent growths over the same time last year.

On the Post-Olympic Auto Market Forum held by Beijing Asian Games Village Automobile Exchange at August 28, the representatives of vehicle manufacturers and distributors show the caution about the future trend of the auto market, but most of them are still full of confidence on the national auto market this year. They all think that the basic aspect of the auto market keeping increasing will not change, our national auto market will still be in the increasing period in 2008, but the increased range may float. After all the domestic average vehicle holding is still very limited, and as the living levels of people increase, the auto purchase has been one important aspect of increasing the life quality, which means the huge auto purchasing demand still exists. At the same time, the consumer group that bought cars in the past several years is now stepping into the phase of replacing the car. All these needs will promote a new round of auto sales increase. Su Hui, General Manager of Beijing Asian Games Village Automobile Exchange, also think that the auto market will soon go into a new phase after a series of challenges and baptisms. The year of 2008 will become the historical year of China Automobile Industry, and a year with obvious challenges and opportunities for the automobile industry.

BYD introduced the first type of small car FO at September 2, and aroused much amazing voices. And BYD movement has almost been the common behavior of many auto manufacturers in the market in the latter half year. In the last four months of 2008, the auto market will once again meet the hot tide of new styles coming into the market after that in the beginning of this year. According to the statistics, nearly 40 new styles will appear in the auto market in the latter half year.

European and American brand auto manufacturers will issue 5 new styles, which are mostly Class A and Class A0, and among these ChangAn Ford New Fiesta, Shanghai Volkswagon Skoda Fabia, First Auto Volkswagon New Bora, New First Auto Mazda 6 and Dongfeng Citroen C-quatre are the focus arousing the consumers' attention. The new cars introduced by Japan and Korean brand auto manufacturers are mostly the old ones with the style changed and some equipment added.

Our self-owned brands, including BYD, will also introduce several new styles in the latter half year, such as Cherry A3, Wagon Touring, LF 620, ChangAn Auto ChangAn V101 wagon, Great Wall Florid, V3 Ling Yue to be introduced by Southeast and a type of Cross style, etc.

Meanwhile, on the aspect of imported vehicles, two styles of large SUV Buick Enclave and KIA Borrego will be imported into China at the end of this year, Infinite and Acura will introduce two styles of new products to China, and Mitsubishi will bring the Japan-made Lancer and Generation 10 EVO, the Mitsubishi star sport car.

Although the auto industry is still full of confidence about the future of the national auto market, the oil price rises from the beginning of this year have influenced the auto market, which promotes the auto circle to begin thinking about the future developing direction, and the auto manufactures to face the industry updating and adjusting problem again.

Li Daokui, Professor of School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University, indicates that with Chinese economy merging into the world and taking an increasingly larger part in the world economy, China economy will inevitably be affected by the international economic changes. Meanwhile, the statistics show that the rude oil demand of the oil market increases about 1.5 percent per year averagely in the past 5 years, but the oil production capacity increases only 0.7 percent per year averagely in the past 5 years, the rude oil price is rocketing, and the oil shortage has become a structural problem and the world has entered the time of high oil prices. He brings forward that China auto industry must transform as soon as possible, to develop toward the low energy-consumption and environment-friendly direction, only thus we can depend less on the oil. In some extent, this involves the state energy strategy. Wang Xiaoming, Deputy Researcher of Development Research Center of the State Council, high oil prices may be a long-term and persistent phase, China auto must make the strategy for this, raise the production efficiency and develop the new energy technologies.

The adjusted auto consumer tax, beginning to implement formally from September 1, is "to restrain the large and develop the small" on the policy level, promoting the auto consumption to adjust in the energy-saving and environmental protection direction. Among the new styles introduced by the domestic and overseas auto brands this year, we can see the auto manufacturers has already been walking towards the energy-saving and miniaturization direction, such as Mazda 2, New Aveo, New Vios, Yaris, New Fit and Fiesta to be introduced in this year.


According to the statistics of China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, in the first half year of 2008, among the sales of the major domestic wagon brands, 1L to 1.6L exhaust ones occupy 55.92 percent of the market, rising 3 percent over the same time of last year; and the sale drops of those of 1L or less exhaust obviously slow down, and the sales volume adds up to 129,100 in the first half year, and the divergent state has mitigated in some extent. At the same time, the new energy auto is developing stably. The price of Eco-Hybrid LaCROSSE freshly introduced by Shanghai GM is only 20,000 Yuan more than the general; and Dongfeng Honda will also introduce the Eco-Hybrid Civic; Volkswagon issued several models of environmentally friendly vehicles by the Olympic platform; the self-owned brands also devote much to the new energy vehicles.

Facing the international economic situation and energy shortage, the auto manufacturers has already felt the body-cutting pain, and once the challenge changed into the opportunity, the domestic auto market will welcome a new developing phase. 
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