China's auto sales to grow slightly in next five years, industry body predicts

FILE PHOTO: Newly manufactured cars are seen at a port in Dalian, Liaoning province, China April 10, 2020. China Daily via REUTERS

TIANJIN, China/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China’s auto market, the world’s biggest, is expected to grow only slightly in the next five years, the country’s top auto industry body said on Friday.

“The next five years will be the key period of industry’s transformation and upgrade,” Li Shaohua, senior executive at the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) told an industry conference hosted by China Automotive Technology and Research Center (CATARC) in Tianjin.

CAAM predicts China’s auto sales will reach around 27.75 million vehicles in 2025, up from 25.77 million units in 2019, Li’s presentation showed.

Though sales have picked up in recent months, CAAM predicts they will fall around 10% for all of 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic hit the market hard early in the year.

Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; Editing by Kim Coghill