After rocketing up by 32 percent in the year before, the Chinese car market took a break last year. China’s automobile sales eked out a small gain of 2.45 percent to 18.50 million units last year. As the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) said in a press conference this afternoon, this was the slowest growth in 13 years.
Automobile output grew even slower, and that barely: Production is up 0.84 percent from a year earlier to 18.42 million units in 2011.
Still, China is and remains the world’s largest car market and car producing country.
14.47 million passenger cars were sold in China last year, up 5.19 percent. Sales of commercial vehicles are down by 6.31 percent year-on-year, production is down 9.94 percent.
The only segments that are up are SUVs, up 20.19 percent MPV, up 11.74 percent.
Throughout the year, we had been watching the normally boring commercial segment with growing concern. Normally, declining sales of commercial vehicles are seen as an indicator of a deteriorating economy. Commercial vehicles are a 4 million market in China