China will overtake Japan to become Asia Pacific’s largest auto maker by 2010, with an annual output of 11 million light vehicles, an international research firm said on 5 April.
Light vehicle refers to any motor vehicle except a bus, trailer or motorcycle, with a gross weight rating of 4,500kg or less. “Japanese production is reducing largely because production is being shifted to the Chinese market,” Benjamin Asher, a Beijing-based business manager with JD Power-Automotive Resources Asia said. Japan manufactured 10.8 million light vehicles in 2006, but growth for 2007 is expected to decline 1.7% to 10.6 million units and to 10 million by 2010, said a quarterly forecast report released by the company this week.
Meanwhile, China will continue to grow, despite an anticipated slowdown from the 28.4% growth in 2006 on the back of government policies aimed at cooling the economy, the report said.
This year, output is expected to increase by 14.3% to 7.6 million units, and after that slow further through to 2010 when production will be 11 million units. But growth will remain in double digits, the report added. By 2010, the combined output of China and Japan will account for 76% of the expected 31.4 million light vehicles manufactured in the Asia Pacific, said the forecast.
India, South Korea and Thailand are the only other countries in the region that manufacture over one million vehicles a year, it added.