GUANGZHOU/SHANGHAI -- Volkswagen Group, the top foreign automaker in China, said on Thursday it expects the world's biggest passenger car market to stabilize next year with low growth levels likely for three to four years.
Hit by a slowing economy, the U.S.-China trade war and chaotic implementation of new emission rules, China's vehicle sales are expected to slide some 8 percent this year after a 2.8 percent fall last year to 28.1 million -- the first decline since the 1990s.
"Next year we predict a stable total market environment, maybe moderate small growth," VW Group China CEO Stephan Woellenstein told Reuters at the Guangzhou auto show.
"China might grow at a relatively low pace until around 2023 and 2024, until we come back to the level of 2017. Then we would also see a continuation of growth," he added.
Volkswagen has been one of the strongest performing automakers in China this year, having launched eight locally produced SUVs since the last quarter of 2018.