China’s vehicle import reached 141,000 units during the first half of 2009, down 34 percent year-on-year, while auto export plunged 60.21 percent to 142,400 units, according to statistics released by China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).
A source with China Automobile Trading Co., Ltd. (CATC) told reporters that vehicle imports dropped because local dealers have cut their import orders due to a pessimistic prediction of the auto market for the first half of 2009. In addition, due to the financial crisis, vehicle supply has been affected as overseas plants reduced production.
According to CAAM data, sport utility vehicles (SUVs) made up to 55 percent of total vehicle imports in China during the January-June period.
Jia Xinguang, veteran auto industry analyst, attributed China’s export slump to the financial crisis, which led to demand shrink in overseas markets. Moreover, some countries elevated threshold of exported Chinese vehicles in order to protect their own brands, said Jia.