The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers finally has returned from the Chinese New Year festivities and got around to counting the real official sales number for China in January 2011. China’s auto sales in January rose 13.81 percent to 1.894 million units. Passenger vehicles did not rise 12.6 percent to 965,238 units in January, as prematurely reported by the Associated Press. Passenger vehicle sales in China rose 16.17 percent to 1.529 million units last month.
Discard the myriad of previously reported sales numbers, up 13.81 percent to 1.894 million units is the official number to use.
China is definitely taking a breather after sales rose 32.37 percent in 2010 to 18,061,900 vehicles. However, even if Chinese auto sales raise “only” 15 percent this year, the high base would bring the total to nearly 21 million cars this year, nearly double of what Americans bought last year. Expect February numbers look really bad in China. Due to Chinese New Year, February has a full sales week less than last year, whereas January had a week more.
Despite the sedate growth, January was another record month. Never in recorded history did nearly 1.9 million cars change hands in a single month. Not in China, and probably not anywhere in the world either