By on January 27, 2010

Japan surely can use some good news, what with pedal-gate and Standard & Poors warning that they might downgrade Japan’s sovereign debt rating from stellar to less than stellar. CSM to the rescue: They think, vehicle sales in Japan could grow by 4 percent in 2010. Honto? What’s driving sales go motto-motto? Government stimulus money. (Read More…)

By on January 14, 2010

Why is this man smiling? Kevin Wale. Picture courtesy astroman.com

Kevin Wale, president of GM China, is convinced that China has passed the U.S. for good as the world’s largest auto sales market. He expects China’s growth to continue, creating a gap that will be too large for the U.S. to close, says AP.

As reported ad nauseam, vehicle sales in China last year rose 46.2 percent to 13.64m units. For this year, cautious industry association projections expect somewhere between 15m and 16m units to change hands.

Wale thinks Chinese auto sales will be anywhere between 14.5m to 15.5m by the end of this year. For the U.S., analysts predict 11.5m to 12m.

Very optimistic analysts reckon the two countries could be trading places until 2015 when China firmly takes the lead. Wale isn’t one of them.  He doesn’t think the U.S. will ever regain the lead. (Read More…)

By on January 12, 2010

It’s definitely official now. The last word in Chinese vehicle sales has the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM,) and the CAAM has spoken. Vehicle sales in China last year rose 46.2 percent to 13.64m units. This is not surprising, but it is nonetheless reassuring that the 13.6m number TTAC had reported last week was only 40,000 short. It is equally official that China is the world’s largest auto market, ahead of the U.S.A. by 3m units, more or less.

Vehicle sales in December alone rose 91.7 percent from a year earlier to 1.41m units in China, the CAAM said. Passenger car sales jumped 88.7 percent in the last month to 1.1m units. Full-year 2009 China passenger car sales are up 52.9 percent in 2009 to 10.3m. If passenger cars alone would count, then the truck and SUV happy USA would look like a 3rd world country: According to Automotive News [sub], only 5.7m new “passenger cars” drove off U.S. dealers’ lots in 2009, slightly more than half of what the Chinese bought.

Will the sales boom continue in 2010? Not as mad as in 2009, expects the CAAM. The manufacturers association expects growth to continue at a more moderate pace of 10 percent. This would mean 1.36m units in additional sales, or a total of a little less than 15m. Merrill Lynch is a little more bullish and thinks that the Chinese market will grow to 15.5 million vehicles this year, the Nikkei [sub] reports. A horrific thought to those who are scared that Chinese will use all our oil, and that melting polar caps will destroy the value of our waterfront properties. Wait, it’s getting worse. (Read More…)

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