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Sep 06, 2010, 08.23 AM IST
China's car market will continue to grow this year but may not sustain the breakneck pace of last year, the chief executive of Ford Motor's China car venture said on Saturday.
"Overall this year versus last year, there will still be growth. First quarter and second quarter were good and we see some slowdown in the third quarter," Jeffrey Shen told Reuters on the sidelines of an industry event in the northern municipality of Tianjin.
"But that's nothing major. There is no market that can continue to have 40, 50 percent growth."
China, which eclipsed the United States as the world's largest auto market last year, has been a major bright spot as the global industry struggles to recover from a steep downturn.
Car sales started to show signs of a slowdown beginning from the second quarter on economic worries, but bounced back strongly in August due largely to government subsidies on fuel-efficient cars.
The up-turn in demand could extend into September and October, the best auto sales season, and may continue into the winter months if automakers slash prices to drive sales, some industry observers have said.
But Shen, also the president of Ford's three-way tie with Mazda Motor and Chongqing Changan Automobile, disagreed.
"Personally I believe quarter three, quarter four there will still be growth, but I don't think there will be 60 percent growth," he said, adding he maintained his previous forecast for 15-25 percent expansion of the Chinese car market in 2010.
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