China will likely see an oversupply of 6 million cars in four years as the country's automobile industry growth continues to slow, Hyundai Motor Co. said Thursday.
China overtook the United States as the world's largest automobile market in 2009 and 2010. Last year, the world's No. 2 economy saw its auto sales surge more than 32 percent on-year to hit 18.06 million vehicles.
"If the current tendency continues, China is expected to see 25.51 million units of cars in 2015, which is comparable to 19.60 million units, the estimate made by the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics," said Noh Jae-man, CEO of Beijing Hyundai Motor Co., a 50-50 joint venture between Hyundai Motor and Beijing Automotive Co.
Such an oversupply will lead to severe competition and industry restructuring in China, Noh expected.
"During the 2011-2015 period, the Chinese government is likely to introduce a policy to encourage massive mergers and acquisitions among the automakers. (The automakers) need to be prepared for it," he said.
The CEO also said the 25 car manufacturers in China have seen falling margins in China over the years due to rising labor costs.
Global carmakers started to see slower growth this year in China as Beijing halted tax breaks at the end of 2010 for those who purchase small cars and levied higher taxes at the beginning of this year.
The tax breaks, introduced in 2009 to buoy domestic demand during the economic slowdown, boosted China's auto market and helped it overtake the United States as the world's largest in 2009 and 2010.