It’s that time of the month again, and welcome to another episode of Chinese Numerology. As it has become a TTAC tradition, the China Automotive Technology & Research Center jumps the gun again with an off-the-wall number. Shameless Bloomberg prints it and reports that “retail deliveries of cars, sport-utility vehicles and multipurpose vehicles rose 15.4 percent last month from a year earlier to 822,300, the China Automotive Technology & Research Center said in a statement today. That compared with 10.9 percent growth in June.” No, it did not. The CATRC is known for pretty good safety research and for awfully wrong numbers. You can safely ignore them, along with the rest of that Bloomberg tale.
Last June, the official growth number for passenger vehicles as reported by the China Passenger Car Association was not 10.9 percent, it was up 18.1 percent. The closely watched CAAM number, the number that counts all motorvehicles and comes closest to the U.S. “light vehicle” count, was up 23.5 percent.
It’s that time of the month again, and we’ll do what we are forced to do every month: We’ll wait for the GM numbers. They should be out tomorrow. GM usually gives a better picture of the Chinese overall market than CATRC. Then, in about a week, we’ll get the official CAAM number. (BTW, CATRC says total auto sales in China increased 17 percent in July. Let’s see what CAAM has to say.)
Come on, guys. China is the world’s largest auto market. Why do we have to endure this rigmarole every month? Why can’t we get definitive numbers in the first days of the month? You know, like in the U.S.A., in Japan, or Germany?