BEIJING, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- China may continue its booming sales in new energy vehicles (NEVs) in 2019 as the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) forecast 33-percent year-on-year growth in the country's NEV sales in 2019.
The CAAM expected 1.6 million NEVs to be sold in 2019, with the newly-added NEV capacity to be more than 400,000 units.
In 2018, the NEV became one of the bestsellers in the domestic market, despite the plunge in vehicle sales after the middle of the year.
In the first half of 2018, except for February, other months saw a year-on-year increase in the vehicle sales. However, in the second half of the year, the domestic automobile market witnessed the continuously negative growth in sales.
The CAAM data shows that China produced about 27.8 million vehicles, down 4.2 percent year on year, while it sold about 28.1 million vehicles, down 2.8 percent year on year.
It is worth noting that the country sold about 1.256 million NEVs in 2018, a jump of 61.7 percent year on year, showing the strong performance.
In 2019, the domestic NEV market will likely embrace fierce competition as investors are bullish about the market and some have joined the campaign.
For example, on January 7, U.S. electric carmaker Tesla inaugurated construction of its Shanghai factory with an annual producing capacity of 500,000 electric cars.
Following Tesla, the BMW Group also turned to China in its NEV production. On January 18, it announced that China will become a global production base of its NEVs. The first pure electric vehicle of BMW will be produced in Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province in 2020, which will be sold in China and across the world.
Apart from the foreign players in the domestic NEV market, the electric vehicle maker NIO Inc. (NIO. NYSE) said in its financial report that as December 31, 2018, its SUV model the ES8 saw 11,348 vehicles delivered, of which 3,318 vehicles were delivered in December.
CEO of NIO Li Bin said that the above figure is beyond the company's objective as a listed company in the first year.
Li Shufu, chairman of Geely, said that 2018 is the first year of Geely's step into the NEV market in an all-round manner.
Geely announced to carry out restructuring and the NEV sector will be upgraded as the independent brand to stimulate the vitality and build a first-class marketing team for better sales.
In addition, some capital giants also shift their focus to the domestic NEV market.
For instance, Evergrande Health (00708.HK) announced on January 24 to buy a 58-percent stake in CENAT, a Shanghai-based power battery enterprise, to become its largest shareholder. The news came only nine days after the Hong Kong-listed company planned to buy a 51-percent stake in National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB (NEVS) for 930 million U.S. dollars. (Edited by Hu Pingchao, email@example.com)