In a press conference in the late Chinese afternoon, China’s CAAM announced its official February sales numbers. The Middle Kingdom kept face and avoided a loss.
China’s vehicle sales rose 4.57 percent in February from a year earlier to 1.26 million units.
Passenger vehicle sales rose 2.57 percent to 967,200 units. This contradicts a previous release by the China Passenger Car Association that had the passenger vehicle market decline by 0.4 percent to 880,027 in February.
Confusing and contradicting stats are par for the course in China. It seems like the China Passenger Car Association does not count SUVs. If you want to be really shocked and confused, read China’s state-owned newswire Xinhua. They headline: “China’s February auto sales down 33 percent.” Compared to January. Same month comparisons are withheld.
According to the CAAM, total vehicle sales in China rose 9.71 percent during the January-February period to 3.16 million units. Passenger vehicle sales (as defined by the CAAM) totaled 2.5 million units in the first two months of the year, up 10.5 percent. Looking at two months instead of one gives a better picture at the beginning of the year. The lunar calendar favored January this year and penalized February.
Industry observers maintain that the Chinese market will grow between 10 and 15 percent this year.