Throwing caution of top government officials in the wind, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) expects car production in China to reach 30 million by 2015, with 5 million units earmarked for exports, China’s Global Times reports.
The CAAM calls the estimate “conservative.” China’s 21st Century Business Herald cited sources that are betting on 34 million annually in five years. The surprising part is not the total. 25m sold domestically by 2015 is lowballed. At the rate the world’s second largest economy is growing, anywhere between 30 to 40m units annually is doable.
What is surprising is the export number they have in mind.
China’s car exports are nothing to write home about. From January to July 2010, China exported a paltry 288,900 units. This coming year, China expects to import more than one million cars. Getting Chinese whole car exports up by a factor of ten in 5 years takes serious work.
Now with the big picture drawn, let’s get back to the little picture: How about August auto sales in China? In the beginning of the month, China’s CATRC had everybody in a tizzy by reporting a 55.7 percent gain for August. We didn’t believe it. A look at the August sales numbers of GM, Toyota and Ford raised further suspicions. With GM only up by 19 percent, the country can’t be up 55.7 percent. As goes GM, as goes China (with a few points deducted.) TTAC therefore prognosticated a “sales increase of below 20 percent.” And that’s where the true number is.
Wholesale deliveries of passenger cars rose 18.7 percent to 1.02 million units in August the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) told Bloomberg. Vehicle sales including buses and trucks gained 16.1 percent in August to 1.3 million, CAAM said. The ever so cautious CAAM raised its outlook for 2010 to 16m.
In the first eight months of the year, China’s auto sales grew 39 percent to a total of 11.58m, said the CAAM via Xinhua.
The street number for expected Chinese auto sales in 2010 is at around 17m.
The difference between CATRC and CAAM numbers already gave cause to an article on the state-owned Xinhua news network, (CATRC counts registrations, CAAM deliveries to dealers) which did not do much to explain the glaring disparities.