China's auto sales expected to further drop in 2019
China's auto market is expected to advance at a slow pace in 2019 as mild economic expansion might weigh upon big-ticket item consumption.
About 28 million cars are likely to be sold in 2019, remaining flat with 2018, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).
Commercial vehicles sales might edge up one percent year on year to reach 4.4 million units, while new energy vehicles sales are expected to register a fast clip at 33 percent year on year to reach about 1.6 million.
Structural changes of the auto market are likely to pick up, with middle and high-end cars, SUVs, and new energy vehicles posting faster expansion, according to Shi Jianhua, deputy secretary-general of the CAAM.
Data from the CAAM showed that passenger vehicles sales totaled 22.35 million in 2018, down 5.8 percent year on year, the first negative growth for the market registered in 28 years.
Shi said China's auto market still poses an ample growth market as car ownership is still low compared with the average global level.
Official data showed that China owned about 240 million cars by the end of 2018, up by 22.85 million from 2017.