Automobile output in China is expected to grow by a quarter year-on-year in 2004, boosted by strong domestic demand, according to an industry consultancy.
Output will total 5.7 million vehicles, up from the expected 4.3 million units this year, said Jia Xinguang, chief analyst with the China National Automotive Industry Consulting and Development Corp.
"Passenger cars will continue to be the biggest growth engine for total vehicle output next year," Jia said.
Output of domestically-made passenger cars is expected to surge by more than 50 per cent to 2.7 million units in 2004, he said, forecasting that this year's figure would exceed 1.8 million units.
He predicted that both truck and bus output would rise 10 to 20 per cent in 2004.
"Domestic demand for vehicles, especially passenger cars, will continue to be very strong next year," he said.
During the first 10 months of this year, vehicle output in China surpassed the total of last year, according to statistics from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
Output increased by 34.25 per cent year-on-year to 3,561,000 units from January to October this year, statistics indicated. Total vehicle output last year stood at 3.25 million units.
However, output in October dropped by 13.25 per cent to 361,900 units from the previous month mainly because of the week-long National Day Holiday, according to statistics.
Passenger car output reached 1,573,100 units during the first 10 months of this year, up 82.77 per cent from a year earlier.
Output in October declined by 12.32 per cent to 163,400 units from September. But the figure was up 51.65 per cent from October of 2002.
Truck output increased by 4.09 per cent to 94,500 units last month; and bus output by 6.32 per cent to 104,000 units, statistics showed.
China's top three automakers - the First Automotive Works Corp, Dongfeng Motor Corp and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp - produced 1,820,800 vehicles from January to October, controlling 51.13 per cent of the total auto output in the nation.
Sales of vehicles made in China stood at 3,478,800 units during the period, an increase of 29.79 per cent from a year ago.
Sales of domestically-made passenger cars increased by 67.67 per cent year-on-year to 1,507,400 units during the period.
The top three sold 1,757,700 vehicles during the first 10 months of this year, accounting for 50.53 per cent of the total home-made automobiles in China.