China caps boom year for auto market with car show

Updated: 2010-12-17 14:19


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HONG KONG - China's second major auto show for 2010 kicks off next week in the southern city of Guangzhou, capping a year of record sales for the country's booming auto market, though analysts warn the strong growth will likely ease, the Associated Press reported Friday.

Unlike its more glitzy cousins in Beijing and Shanghai, which are held in alternating years and are aimed more at establishing China's presence globally with product launches, the Guangzhou show has always been aimed at local buyers, the report said.

The show, known as Auto Guangzhou, runs from Monday to Dec 27.

Analysts forecast that the country's annual sales may climb roughly 30 percent to about 17 million vehicles.

"The growth rate will slow down but it still will have healthy momentum. We think there will be 8 to 10 percent for growth for passenger car sales next year," the report cited Lin Huaibin, a Shanghai-based analyst at IHS Automotive.

Local carmakers, which have been itching to expand overseas, will also have a presence.

Geely Holding Group, little known outside of China until it bought Sweden's Volvo Cars from Ford Motor Co earlier this year in a $1.5 billion deal, will have at least 13 models on display, according to the report.

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"Green" cars, such as hybrids and electric vehicles, will be one of this year's hot themes, it said.

Local Chinese carmakers have been racing to develop electric vehicles as they anticipate demand from the US because of tighter fuel efficiency standards. The Chinese government is also pushing the development of the electric car industry at home.

China overtook the United States in 2009 as the world's biggest car market, with sales surging 45 percent to 13.6 million vehicles, the report said.



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