China January vehicle sales surge 45.4 percent

January vehicle sales surge 45.4 percent 

Sectorbackongrowthtrackaftertwo-yearslowdown

China’spassengervehiclesalesinJanuarysurgedmorethan 45 percentfromayearearlier, thelargestyear-on-yeargrowthsinceApril 2010, indicatingthesectorisshiftinggearbackintohigh-speedgrowthafteratwo-yearslowdown.

Atotalof 1,704,185 cars, sportutilityvehicles, multi-purposevehiclesandminivansweredeliveredinthenationinJanuary, up 45.4 percentoverJanuarylastyearanda 9.2 percentincreasefromthepreviousmonth, theChinaPassengerCarAssociationsaidonThursday.

“SuchhighgrowthwasaresultoffivemoreworkingdaysinJanuaryandmorethan 10 daysofaslackmarketinJanuarylastyearduetoanearlySpringFestival,” saidRaoDa, secretary-generaloftheassociation.

“Thereboundinthenationaleconomyalsosupportedvehiclepurchases.”

Headdedthatitwouldbereasonabletoexpectamorethan 35 percentmonth-on-monthfallinsalesgrowthinFebruary, astheapproachingweek-longSpringFestivalholidayreducesworkingtimethismonthbyfivedays.

However, hepointedoutthatcombinedsalesinthefirsttwomonthsof 2013 arelikelytoseegrowthriseby 25 percentyear-on-year.

“Thedownturnsincethegovernmentwithdrewstimulusmeasuresattheendof 2010 hasended. Thepassengervehiclemarketisreturningtohigh-speedgrowth,” saidRao.

GeneralMotors, thelargestforeignautomakerinChinaintermsofsales, saidonTuesdaythatJanuarywasthefirstmonthinwhichitanditsjointventuressoldmorethan 300,000 vehiclesinasinglemonth, anincreaseof 26 percentyear-on-year.

USautomakerFordMotorCo’spassengervehiclesalessurged 135 percentto 44,439, alsoreachingarecordhighforJanuary.

EventhethreeJapaneseautomakers, Toyota, HondaandNissan, whosesaleswereseriouslyhitbyChineseconsumers’ avoidingJapaneseproductsamidrisingangeroverTokyo’sillegal “purchase” ofChina’sDiaoyuIslands, allsawtheirsalesrisearound 20 percentinJanuaryaftersharpdeclinesforfourmonths.

Althoughdealers’ inventoriesdippedslightlyforfourconsecutivemonths, thefast-increasingsalesmadetheChinaAutomobileDealersAssociationdeclarearedalertoveraninventoryreboundafterSpringFestival.

AccordingtotheVehicleInventoryAlertIndextheassociationreleasedthisweek, inJanuary, thealertindexgained 0.9 percentagepointsto 45.26 percent, warningdealerstopayattentiontoagrowinginventory.

“Asautomakersallreadjustedtheirsalestargetslastyearamidamarketslowdown, theinventoryatdealerswaseasedattheendof 2012. However, asharpreductioninsalesinFebruaryfromJanuaryduetofewerworkingdaysbringsthehighriskofinventoriesaccumulatingaftertheholiday,” saidLuoLei, deputysecretary-generaloftheassociation.

Accordingtotheassociation’ssurveyofmorethan 1,000 automobiledealerscovering 50 majorvehiclebrandsacrossthecountry, duetotheSpringFestivalholiday, mostdealersexpectbusinesstoworseninFebruary.

“Dealersandautomakersshouldtakemeasurestocopewiththesharpdropinvehicledemandaftertheholiday, inabidtoavoidtheinventoryrebound,” saidLuo.

lifangfang@chinadaily.com.cn

 

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