After two decades of explosive growth, China suffered its first annual decline in vehicle sales in 2018, because the turmoil with President Donald Trump and slowing economic growth led consumers to postpone major purchases.
"The easing of trade tensions between China and the United States has also helped restore consumer confidence", said Kang, who expects China auto sales to grow 0.05% this year.
The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) last month forecast annual auto sales in 2020 would dip 2% after an estimated 8% slump in 2019.
The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) expects a 2 per cent fall in vehicle sales.
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The country's top industry body, China's Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), said it expected annual auto sales to drop 2% this year and will announce 2019 full-year sales figures later on Monday. That would compare with an 8.2 per cent drop past year, when sales were pressured by new emission standards in a shrinking economy also contending with tit-for-tat import tariffs with the United States.
The automaker plans to launch more than 30 new models in China over the next three years, of which over a third will be electric vehicles. "The easing of trade tensions between China and the United States has also helped restore consumer confidence", he said.
Despite the fall, the production and sales figures at 25.712 million units and 25.769 million units, respectively, remained the highest in the world, the group said.
When asked if the industry could sell 2 million NEVs this year, a target originally set by China's industry ministry in 2017, CAAM's assistant secretary general, Xu Haidong, said this was "not possible".
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In China, Ford makes cars through its joint venture with Chongqing Changan Automobile and Jiangling Motors.
"We expect the market downturn to continue in 2020, and anticipate ongoing headwinds in our China business", Matt Tsien, president of GM China, said last week as the automaker reported a 15% drop in sales in 2019.
Ford saw its December sales fall 14.7% during the final month of the year, as it continues to grapple with updating its vehicle line-up. In total, it bought 567,854 automobiles over 2019.
Toyota Motor Corp sold around 1.62 million Toyota and premium Lexus cars in China last year, a 9% sales jump compared with a year earlier.
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