New car sales in China will hit 20 million by 2020, and double to 40 million by 2030, according to estimates released by the Global Automotive Forum.
The growth to 20m new car sales, which will make China by far the biggest car market in the world (ahead of the US), is expected to be a result of an average GDP growth of about seven per cent per year for the rest of the decade.
However, key industry figures are now estimating that new car sales will double again between 2020 and 2030. Estimates shown by Ronald Hoge, CEO of Pinnacle Engines, showed Chinese sales at 40.7m units and the US at just 17.6m sales. India is estimated at 11.7m, Brazil at 7.8m and Russia at 5.2m.
In what is clearly bad news for mature Western markets, Germany is expected to see 3.7m new cars sales in 2030, and France 3.2m, with the UK predicted to hit just 2.9m units, a surprise figure that suggests big falls in the number of cars per adult in Britain over the next 25 years.
If China does reach these predicted heights, it will be a consequence of the determined drive by car makers who want to penetrate new markets, in particular the smaller cities in central and western China which are set to expand following the huge growth in megacities such as Beijing and Shanghai.
Longer-term growth will also be driven by the Chinese government, which already wants to further extend China’s huge road network and see more self-sustaining megacities established. This is backed by the strong trend for the Chinese population to move out of poorer rural areas into urban areas.