By on April 2, 2011

In the (OMG) 7 years I have lived and worked in China by now, I have learned not to take the first two months of the year all too seriously. After all, according to the Chinese calendar, the first two months mostly belong to the old year. Chinese New Year  is some time in late January or early February, depending on the inscrutable lunar calendar. The nearly month long festivities mess up sales, and make comparisons pretty much useless. Confucius say: “Only the stupidest of men make predictions based on January sales.”

March is a different matter.  It’s the first “regular” month of the new year. Everybody is waiting for March sales results in China. We’ll have to wait at least a week or so until the CAAM is done tabulating the sales of the 60 to 120 automakers in China (even that number remains shrouded in mystery.) But there is our trusted indicator: GM China. (Read More…)

By on March 24, 2011

J.D. Power sees a strong March in its crystal ball, powered by real-time transaction data of 8,600 retail franchises throughout the United States. However growth is expected to be much more sedate than the 27 percent jump in February.

(Read More…)

By on March 9, 2011

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. (Read More…)

By on March 7, 2011

The Chinese passenger car market did something highly unusual in February: It declined. If the data of the usually not highly reliable China Passenger Car Association is to be believed, that is. They e-mailed to Automotive News [sub] that February 2011 passenger car sales were a minuscule 0.4 percent below February 2010 levels. (Read More…)

By on March 3, 2011

Germany is busy digging itself out of a – mostly mathematical – hole.  According to data released by Germany’s Kraftfahrtbundesamt, registrations in February were up 15.2 percent compared to February 2010. The graph above tells a different story. (Read More…)

By on March 2, 2011

More and more journos wish China would become like America. As in America of 2008: Pop, crash, fizzle. The current meme is that the 18 plus million car sales can’t possibly go on and that the Chinese car market will ape America and will pop, crash and fizzle.

The problem is: The Chinese car market doesn’t seem to be able to read. It just doesn’t want to roll over. It had its big chance last month. China had been closed most of February in observance of the Chinese New Year. Most observers (including myself) had expected minus signs in front of the growth number for February.

First sales numbers are coming if for February, and there are good news and bad news. (Read More…)

By on March 1, 2011

“The consumer is back to the showrooms,” said Brian Johnson, an analyst with Barclays Capital to the Los Angeles Times. No kidding. The consumer is back with a vengeance. February new cars sales were up  27 percent on the year. The world’s two biggest automakers report sales increases we thought only possible in China. (Read More…)

By on March 1, 2011

It’s that time of the month again. Super-efficient Japan  traditionally is first out of the gate with previous month sales numbers. Lately, there have been some who regret that efficiency. For the sixth straight month in a row, the Japanese new car market is tired, down, worn-out. (Read More…)

By on February 27, 2011

Three usually reliable research organizations agree: When automakers release February sales this coming week, they will be strong. Analysts see a sales increase of about 20 percent, and a SAAR in the 12 million territory. (Read More…)

By on February 18, 2011

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. (Read More…)

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