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…)

By on February 15, 2011

While we were focused on the U.S. market in 2010 and were happy that it awoke from the dead and went above 10 million, the world quietly left carmageddon behind itself and set a new record: 72 million light-vehicles were sold worldwide in 2010, a number never seen before, says J.D. Power. For this year, the Westlake Village research group expects another world record. However, most of this record was not and will not be produced where most of our readership lives. (Read More…)

By on February 15, 2011

More Chinese sales numbers for January are coming in as China slowly begins to return from the Chinese New Year holidays. We are keeping a wary eye on the January numbers. They are seen as an indicator for the whole year. Most of the world’s auto industry relies on China for growth and volume. A marked slowdown could have serious consequences. (Read More…)

By on February 14, 2011

The China Passenger Car Association reports that sales of passenger cars rose 12.6 percent to 965,238 units in January, says the Associated Press. However, as explained in my small lecture on the use and abuse of auto industry statistics, this is not the number we are waiting for. We are waiting for the sales of all motorvehicles in China with 4 wheels and over, also known as “automobile sales.” (Read More…)

By on February 11, 2011

China’s prognosticated car bubble does not appear to experience its prognosticated burst. One by one, Chinese sales numbers for January are coming in, and none of them are bad. (Read More…)

By on February 9, 2011

Less than two weeks ago, GM China hinted that their sales may have risen more than 20 percent in January. This was seen as a good omen, because most pundits (except this one) had predicted a miserable January for China. GM China released its numbers today, and they over delivered. GM China reports a record month in January. (Read More…)

By on January 28, 2011

The oft predicted collapse of the Chinese market does not seem to happen. GM is the canary in the Chinese coalmine, and January, the month before the Lunar New Year festivities, is a key selling month. So goes GM, so goes China, so goes January, so goes the year. This time, January was especially critical: Many had predicted that the cancellation of tax incentives for sub 1.6 liter cars, that went in effect on January 1, would have serious pull-forward repercussions. Not as far as GM is concerned. (Read More…)

By on January 28, 2011

According to data published today by Ford, the company sold 5,313,000 units worldwide “to wholesale” (i.e. out of the door.), up 447,000 units or 9.19 percent. With Volvo eliminated, the growth was 771,000 units. Record sales in the U.S.A. and Asia were partially offset by lower sales in Europe. Ford is not strong enough in China to profit like its competitors that are strong in China. One of these competitors is Hyundai. (Read More…)

By on January 10, 2011

It’s official: China’s Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) announced that in 2010, Chinese bought 18,061,900 vehicles, an increase of 32.37 percent over 2009. Automobile production rose to 18,264,700 units, an increase of 32.44 percent.

As predicted several times, China handily broke the world record of annual sales, established by the U.S.A. way back in 2000 with sales of 17.4 million units. (Read More…)

By on January 6, 2011

New car sales around the world are mostly rebounding – except in the markets where they had been artificially stimulated last year. This list will be continuously updated as new data becomes available. (Read More…)

By on January 6, 2011

Scotia Bank in Toronto has an insightful and resourceful car analyst, Carlos Gomes. Whatever he writes is worth reading. He expects car sales to rise and the “United States and the euro zone to climb out of their deep hole.” He also expects that the developed nations are ripe to be plucked and eaten by an upstart, roughhewn  crowd:

“In 2011, new car sales in China and the other BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China) will surpass the combined volumes of Western Europe and Japan, and account for roughly 30 per cent of global car sales.”

Here is his case: (Read More…)

By on January 5, 2011

German new car sales pierced the previous year line for the first time this year. In December, Germans bought 6.9 percent more cars than in December 2010. However, this is more due to a moderate December 2009 than to an overly strong December 2010. For the year, German new car sales are 23.4 percent below 2009. (Read More…)

By on January 5, 2011

When it comes to new cars, trucks and buses, Japan’s can look back at the first sales increase in seven years. Sales rose 10.6 percent in all of 2010, powered by the generosity of the Japanese government. The country will remember 2010 with woefulness. This year, the sales will be down hard. After 14 months of government-induced growth, Japan cut the buying incentives last September, and the market keeled over.

December sales gave a preview of sales not to come: Sales were down 28.3 percent in December, according to data provided by the Japan Automobile Dealers Association to The Nikkei [sub]. These numbers do not include mini (“kei”) cars and trucks.

Japan’s total new vehicle sales including minicars rose only 7.5 percent in 2010 from the previous year to a total of 4,956,136 units, the Mainichi Shimbun reports. The total was dragged down by the poorer (sales-) performance of the small cars. Mini vehicles sales rose only 2.3 percent to 1,726,420 units, the Japan Mini Vehicles Association said.

The way the incentive program was set up, it had an immense pull-forward effect. The program had a cash for clunker component, but that was hardly used. Japan doesn’t have the number of old cars like the U.S.A. or Europe. The extra cars bought in 2010 will be sorely missed in 2011. Compared with an artificially high 2010, Japanese domestic  2011 numbers will look very ugly.

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