China Auto Sales Growth to Slow to About 5% in 2011, NDRC Researcher Says

China’s auto sales growth will slow to about 3 percent to 5 percent this year after government incentives that boosted deliveries in 2010 were removed, according to State Information Center Research Director Xu Changming.

Deliveries will likely be about 19 million units this year, according to Xu, whose center is a unit of the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s top economic planning agency.

“The third quarter may be better than the second as September and October are traditionally hot seasons for auto sales but I don’t expect a big improvement,” Xu said in an interview in Tianjin, where he was attending an auto industry forum. “I don’t expect any more stimulus policies from the government in the near future.”

China’s auto sales have slowed this year after surging 32 percent in 2010 to a record, as the government phased out sales- tax breaks and rebates for rural purchases. Total vehicle deliveries expanded 3.2 percent in the first seven months, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Xu’s forecast is in line with the auto association, which lowered its previous estimated 10 percent to 15 percent growth this year to about 5 percent in July.

The State Information Center is conducting research on consumer acceptance of electric vehicles to see whether and under what circumstances buyers will opt for the alternative- energy cars, he said.

The country’s Cabinet is reviewing a 10-year development plan for energy-saving and alternative energy vehicles, the Securities Times reported on Aug. 30.

China aims to have 1 million units of electricity-powered vehicles running on roads by 2015, according to the Ministry of Science.

There are currently 10,000 alternative energy and energy- saving vehicles in use in 25 designated trial cities, of which 1,000 are privately owned, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kae Inoue at kinoue@bloomberg.net

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