The Truth About Cars » Auto sales 2010 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 24 Jul 2014 17:47:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Auto sales 2010 Positive Post Of The Day: Japanese Sales To Grow 4 Percent Wed, 27 Jan 2010 19:01:34 +0000

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.

“Consumer sentiment remains depressed in Japan, but the new car market entered a recovery phase in the second half of 2009 as the government’s eco-car tax cut policy and scrappage incentive programs gathered momentum,” said Yoshiaki Kawano, Japan/Korea sales forecast analyst of CSM. “The government’s recent decision to extend the scrappage program through September, combined with stronger economic fundamentals, will help drive full-year sales modestly higher.”

After enduring a 30 drop to 7.5 million units, vehicle production in Japan should also recover this year, says CSM after a read of the (green) tea leaves. A production of 8.6m units, and an increase of 15 percent should be in the cards, figures CSM.

Sugoi ne!

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GM Says Uncle: US Will Never Catch Up With China Again Thu, 14 Jan 2010 12:09:46 +0000 Why is this man smiling? Kevin Wale. Picture courtesy

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.

This time, TTAC agrees with Wale. “China will grow again next year, which means that the U.S. has to pick up five million in two years to stay in the race,” Wale said. “Got your chips?”

And then there’s the perception gap, China style:

Many U.S. buyers have negative impressions of GM brands because of quality problems “of the past,” or because the company was in bankruptcy protection and had to take U.S. government aid to survive.

In China, GM brands, especially Buick, are well received among China’s growing middle class and younger population. Interesting data point: The average age of a Buick buyer in the U.S. is 66, Wale said, but it’s half of that in China.

Kevin Wale has reason to be boisterous. Whereas GM has, well, fiscal problems, GM is solidly profitable in China, Wale said, without giving specifics. Here is some indication: Joint venture partner SAIC, who not only has GM, but also VW under its belt, announced a few days ago that its net profit rose more than nine times compared to 2008. Which would amount to $900m or so this year. SAIC sold 2.72m units this year. Of that, around 800K GMs. Back of the envelope: If GM realized $150m in profits in China, then they’ve been doing really well.

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15m Or More Cars In China. How It Affects Peak Oil And Global Warming Tue, 12 Jan 2010 10:50:27 +0000

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.

China is known for low-balling their projections. By the end of 2008, the CAAM had projected a moderate rise of 5 percent for 2009. A little later, the target was revised to 10m cars for the year. Double, sometimes triple digit growth rates put that target in the round file.

Dong Yang, executive vice president and secretary general of the China CAAM pointed out that auto sales in China over the past 15 years have grown an average 16.7 percent annually. In the worst times of carmageddon, 2008 sales were still up 6.7 percent from a year earlier. Previously, Rao Da, general secretary of the China Passenger Car Association, had said that auto sales in 2010 could grow by another 20 percent so long as China’s economic recovery continues and oil prices stay stable. The CAAM plays it safe and projects 10 percent.

Anyway you slice it, China should close out 2010 with 15m, 16m, or more cars sold.

Since comments about peak oil and pollution are being cued up as I type this, some items to remember:

Air quality: The faster smoke belching vehicles are replaced by modern cars, the better for the environment. Beijing doesn’t allow anything less than Euro 4 into the city, with amazing results for the air quality. China-wide, Euro 4 will go into effect this year. To get the polluters off the road, China is stepping up its Cash for Clunkers program in 2010, and offers between US$733 and $2635 to those who retire their old cars. Increasingly, high polluters will be banned from big cities. Before Beijing was declared off-limits to high-emission vehicles (brand marked by a yellow tag,) they were responsible for 50 percent of the pollution.

Peak oil: According to Edmunds, China is targeting a fleetwide average of 42.2 mpg by 2015. Edmunds: “That’s almost 19 percent more than the 35.5 mpg corporate average fuel economy by 2016 that President Obama announced for the U.S.” Fuel economy for China’s new-car fleet (including SUVs and minivans) already averages 36.8 miles per gallon. In the U.S., the present CAFE standard is 27.5 mpg for cars, 23.1 mpg for trucks.

Now who’s the biggest oinker of ‘em all?

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