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Industry group sticks with 8% sales growth forecast for 2015
Despite a significant slowdown in auto sales growth in April, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers is sticking with its previous forecast that China's light-vehicle sales will grow 8 percent to 21.3 million units this year.

"Affected by the stabilizing domestic economic growth, China's auto market has also entered a phase of a relatively stable growth," the association said in a statement last week.

Sedan sales will edge up 1 percent year on year to 12.5 million, while microvan deliveries will drop 20 percent to 1.1 million, the association predicts.

By contrast, demand for SUVs and multipurpose vehicles will remain strong as customers switch out of other product segments. The association expects SUV sales will rise 25 percent to 5.1 million, while MPV deliveries will surge 35 percent to 2.6 million.

The association is sticking with its growth projections even though April sales were weak. Last month, industry sales of light vehicles rose only 3.7 percent year on year, a sharp slowdown from the first quarter, when sales grew 9 percent.

Since the association first issued its forecast in December, China's economy has cooled significantly. The central government projects economic growth this year of 7 percent, down from 7.4 percent in 2014.