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Auto Industry

German carmakers eye Beijing car show in anticipation of record sales in China

The world’s leading automakers have gathered in Beijing for its annual car show. German carmakers are expecting record sales this year as China’s consumers look West for quality and affordability.

Beijing car show

German automakers flocked to the opening of the International Automotive Exhibition in Beijing with high expectations on Sunday. Market forecasts indicated continued growth in 2014, following a jump in sales over the past two years in China. German manufacturers VW, BMW, Daimler and Audi were among those who profited, each selling 15 percent more vehicles in 2013.

The head of VW's China operations, Jochem Heizmann, told reporters ahead of the show that the Wolfsburg-based company anticipated demand among Chinese consumers to growth by 10 percent in 2014.

"A large sales potential for passenger cars will develop there fairly quickly," Heizmann told reporters. "That's one factor driving growth besides state-induced urbanization."

Heizmann confirmed that VW planned to ship its product to 3,600 dealers by 2018, an increase of roughly 50 percent.

Luxury automakers BMW, Daimler and Audi also expected healthy growth this year, following a year that brought their sales up by 20, 18 and 21 percent, respectively.

Since 2013, the number of new cars entering the Chinese market has risen by 15.7 percent, or roughly 17.9 million automobiles. The boom has been attributed to the East Asian country's emerging middle class and growth in its interior regions.

kms/mz (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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