(Yicai Global) Nov. 15 -- Volkswagen's sales in China, its biggest market, will remain flat next year, according to the chief executive of the German auto giant's local unit.
The Chinese car market has been in trouble since June and is worsening every month, online news portal Sina reported today, citing Jochem Heizmann. He added that sales would only continue to flatline in the mid-term.
Wolfsburg-based VW's sales in the country slid more than 10 percent in September along with a slump in its global shipments.
China, the world's biggest car market, has seen turnover stagnate for four straight months. Last month, sales fell 12 percent annually in the largest decline in more than six years, per figures from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. The industry group pointed to a slowing economy, deleveraging and an anti-pollution campaign as causes.
The CAAM has warned that the industry's growth prospects in China are very slim this year. The country's annual vehicle sales are set to plunge for the first time since 1990, according to Tokyo-based Nomura Securities.
Still, in Volkswagen's view the growth potential of China's passenger vehicle sector is "still higher than any other passenger car market in the world," Heizmann was quoted as saying.
Foreign and imported brands claimed a 62 percent market share in the first half, according to New York-based global management consultant McKinsey & Company.
Editor: Ben Armour