A new report by auto industry forecaster Max Pemberton predicts that the Chinese vehicle market will grow to 15.6 million units per annum by 2020. Pemberton’s analysis also suggests that China could overtake Japan as the world’s second largest vehicle producer by 2014, even overhauling the USA for top spot by 2020.

Although worries have increased lately over the dangers of possible production overcapacity in China during the short- to medium-term, Pemberton’s upbeat long-term analysis is broadly consistent with what other forecasters are saying.

Pemberton said: “China is making progress far faster than most people would have believed even two to three years ago – we are forecasting annual vehicle sales reaching 15.6 million units by 2020, a massive 649 percent rise from 2000 levels. However, even this growth will only raise the level of motorisation in China to just over developing country level. If the infrastructure can be built quickly enough to support it, we believe China will overtake Japan as the world’s second largest producer by 2014, and become the world’s largest by 2020. It will also have the world’s second largest vehicle parc by 2015, ahead of Japan. ”

He added: “The recent moves to cool the Chinese economy down to a compound annual growth rate of seven percent should be applauded, but even at that rate GNP doubles every ten years, so market performance will still be impressive. These levels of growth have easily been achieved in other countries making the transition from developing to developed status, so our outlook remains firmly positive.”

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