Forum to discuss future of auto industry

China’s auto industry has entered a crucial period of structural adjustment and transition and automakers need to transform to adapt to the latest industry trends, according to the organizer of the three-day 2020 China Auto Forum which opened in Shanghai on Thursday. 

The forum, which has been held for nine years, is a top event for the automotive industry and serves as an important platform for government officials, experts and scholars as well as representatives from automobile companies to discuss the industry’s future development.

The theme of the forum is leading the new journey of  China auto industry. The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, the organizer, said 2020 is a year of transition for China’s auto industry to embark on high-quality development.

Since 2009, China has been the world’s largest automobile market in terms of production and sales. It has become the most important market for domestic and foreign automakers, and the core stage for leading technical trends in the global auto industry. 

China’s auto market recorded negative growth for the first time in 2018, and contracted further in 2019. From a period of high-speed growth to the latter half of popularization, the market faces an ever-increasing downward pressure, the association said.

Chinese automakers need to transform and make new strategies to face such challenges. The association said that the spread of coronavirus around the world had added uncertainties to world politics and the economy. In a changing environment, China’s auto industry will face many greater challenges and automakers need to be prepared.

Despite the challenges, Chinese government has introduced a series of policies to promote automobile consumption. Automakers are also actively promoting new cars, constantly increasing their technology level and keeping industrial and supply chains stable.

In the second half of the year, the association believes the auto market will see further recovery and it has a positive outlook for the auto industry.

The forum has invited a number of industry insiders to participate and discuss future development of the industry amid the pandemic.

A closed-door summit and internal meeting was held on Thursday.

The main forum will be on Friday morning and will consist of a series of topics, including automotive industry technology development, strategies and prospects of Chinese automakers, new-energy vehicle development, intelligent and connected vehicles, and globalization.

Ann C. Toledo

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