Automakers delay car launches after falling sales

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    Shanghai, October 22, 2008: ( Chinese automakers almost unanimously postponed plans for new car launches amid worries about a demand slowdown, National Business Daily report today.

    Great Wall Motor, a major pickup truck and SUV producer in China, said earlier this month that it has postponed the rollout date of its Coolbear sedan to next year because of the downturn in the auto market.

    The market launch of FAW Car Co's brand new A-class car Besturn B50 was put off until the beginning of next year, which the launch of the Hyundai NF and new Fiesta are also reported to be postponed.

    Industry analysts say the automaker's move will further crimple the already sluggish sales, and they predict more economic uncertainties are yet to come next year.

    In China, the demand for cars has declined alarmingly as of the second half year, and business conditions in China are raising concerns for the future. In the third quarter, China's vehicle sales fell 1.4% from a year earlier -- the first such decline in more than ten years.

    "Automakers will inevitably delay new launches amid market downturns as no one likes to see failure with a new product," Jia Xinguang, a senior analyst with China Auto Consultation Co.

    The global economic setback has definitely impacted the Chinese market, maybe over a relative long period," said Rao Da, secretary general of China Passenger Car Association, who estimated the year-on-year growth for auto sales will slow to 5 percent in 2008.

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