Beijing Auto sets sales goal of 1.05m vehicles

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 February, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 February, 2009, 12:00am


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Beijing Automotive Industry Corp, the country's fifth-largest carmaker, expects to boost sales 36 per cent this year, but analysts are sceptical of the target because of the slowing vehicle market.

The Beijing-based carmaker said yesterday it aimed to sell 1.05 million vehicles this year and generate revenue of 100 billion yuan (HK$113.46 billion), with mergers and acquisitions contributing 10 billion yuan.

'It's not too meaningful to look at carmakers' sales targets because they can use many different tactics during the year to boost sales, such as reducing prices,' said Guotai Junan Securities analyst Zhang Xin.

Hong Kong-listed Great Wall Motor, the largest sport-utility vehicle maker, estimated sales would surge 70 per cent this year with the launch of 13 new passenger car models.

'Carmakers usually set high sales targets at the beginning of the year,' Yale Zhang, a director at consultancy CSM Worldwide, said of the sales forecasts.

'Especially this year, they will roll out more car models to attract customers.'

The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers expected sales in the country to rise 10 per cent this year from 93.8 million units last year. But some carmakers and industry analysts say total sales will probably only record single-digit growth.

Sales by some carmakers, such as Anhui-based Chery Automobile and Zhejiang-based Geely Automobile Holdings, last year fell short of their original targets.

Analysts said that to meet sales targets, carmakers cut prices throughout the year at an average rate of about 3 per cent.

'It will not be difficult for Beijing Automotive to reach a 1 million sales target theoretically,' said Zhang Xin. 'The most important factor is how much net profit it can generate.'