China in August: Red Hot

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

China will not report official August sales numbers for a week or so. First indications show that they will be abso-NSFWing-unbelievable.

SAIC-GM-Wuling’s mini-commercial joint venture in China saw its sales in August grow nearly 123 percent year on year, Gasgoo writes.

Sales at GM’s passenger vehicle joint venture with SAIC rose nearly 100 percent. China’s Chevrolet is up 99.4 percent, China’s Buick sold 102.8 percent more than in August 2008.

Sales at Changan Ford grew 111 percent in August from a year earlier, marking the seventh month of record growth of the blue oval in red China.

Beijing Hyundai is taking the cake so far with an August sales surge of 208 percent.

With the other volume makers expected to come in with similar numbers (albeit not as amazing as the Korean miracle), China’s August sales are expected to exceed the 70 percent rise of July. Triple digit growth isn’t out of the question. According to “as goes GM, so goes China,” triple digits are a near certainty.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • Wsn Wsn on Sep 03, 2009

    Bertel, I do have dozens of extended family members and friends living in China. I cannot speak for Beijing, especially higher end districts where many foreigner live. But at least for my hometown Hangzhou and the close by city of Shanghai, real estate is red hot. People literally line up over-night to buy apartments this year. People don't use HLOC to buy cars per se. But a large number of them do have an outstanding mortgage balance that's greater than the amount of cash at their hands. Real estate going up in price gave them more confidence in spending that cash on a car. If I were you, I wouldn't tell anybody to get out of the stock market or the real estate market. Why? The risk of either one is about a 75% decline; they will still have 25% after a crash and if they are patient they will make even in 10 years (inflation adjusted). The risk of not getting into the market and holding cash is much much greater. See, China, unlike the US, never really cared about persevering RMB's value. Where US uses income tax as a major form of revenue, China has to depend on printing money as revenue. The cost of food has gone up 5000~10000% in the past 30 years. Those who didn't participate the real estate "bubble" in the early 2000's probably will never be able to afford a property in a large city, ever.

  • Wsn Wsn on Sep 03, 2009
    Durwood : September 3rd, 2009 at 1:13 pm so are the cars dirt cheap in china? I cant see then paying buick prices compared to those in the states. And i didn’t know ford was in china that good, so maybe that will help them too. --------------------------------------- No, they are not dirt cheap. Using the current exchange rate, they are way more expensive than in the US. Yes, the Chinese Yuan is over-valued (for non-Walmart items, at least).
  • Wsn Wsn on Sep 03, 2009
    # Bertel Schmitt : September 3rd, 2009 at 12:57 pm It’s just the beginning of a market that has five times the population of the USA. (The official 1.3b number is widely believed as lowballed.) ----------------------------------------------- Size itself is not an advantage. For each person that can create products, he also needs to consume. It's an advantage only if the value he produces exceeds what he consumes. We only need to look at GM to get that idea. The best China can do depends on 1) The total amount natural resources it can obtain (This is a bottle neck. The unlimited man power would be useless if there's nothing for them to do.) 2) It's efficiency of using those natural resources. 3) The efficiency of the social system. China could not beat the [declining] US in any of the 3 areas. So I would say the best China could do is like 80% of US, unless there is a major political reform/revolution to make the social system more competitive than the US system.
  • Bertel Schmitt Bertel Schmitt on Sep 03, 2009

    WSN: I told everybody to get OUT when the Shanghai index was at 6000 and the ayi was trading A shares instead of doing the dishes and ironing my shirts. Now that the index has come down from the 3000 level, I suggest waiting for a while and then get back in. I'm locked and loaded. As for the real estate market, it had been in the dumps. The tier 2 cities are seeing a little pop, which is another good sign for the economy. I'm down on buying here. No land to buy.