April 12 (China Daily) - In the first three quarters of 2010, average monthly auto sales in China has exceeded 1.5 million units, showing a 50 percent of growth compared with the average monthly sales of around 1 million units in 2009, according to the latest data released by China Association of Auto Manufacturers(CAAM).
Dong Yang, vice president of CAAM, warned automakers that they should be cautious of possible overproduction and be prudent when planning to expand production capacity.
The recovery of international markets has boosted domestic automakers' exports. In March, Chinese auto manufacturers exported 39,500 cars, 49 percent higher than the previous month and 78 percent higher year-on-year. Chery, Chang'an, Great Wall Motors, Dongfeng Motor and Beijing Automobile Works were the top five auto exporters in the first quarter of 2010.
It is also notable that the niche market of passenger cars with 1.6-liter or below exhaust volume, which showed robust growth in 2009, witnessed falling market share in March.
According to the data by CAAM, sales for passenger cars with 1.6-liter and below exhaust volume were 868,000 units, 28 percent higher compared with February. The growth rate is 6 percentage points lower than the growth rate of the whole passenger car market.
Zhu Yiping, assistant secretary-general of CAAM noted that the reducing subsidies led to weak purchasing power, and the growth of car sales on the whole last year outpaced the consumption of cars with small exhaust volume to some extent.
Dong said that the quarterly growth of China's auto sales was slightly less than 16 percent, showing that the auto market was "normal."
"The high yearly growth figure was the result of weak sales during the same time last year," he said.
He warned auto markers to be prudent on capacity expansion, and that they should not make forecasts based on the high annual growth rate.
"The automakers should be prepared of market fluctuations," Dong said.
"Automakers' current inventories are around one-third of their monthly sales, generally at a reasonable level," Zhu said.