Chinese Buy 13.6m Cars, Up 45 Percent
If even the DetN prints it, then we can assume it’s official: China’s total light vehicle sales came in at 13.6m, slightly higher than the estimates. The Chinese car market grew 45 percent compared to 2008. This according to data released by the China Passenger Car Association. China’s official auto sales data for 2009 are scheduled to be released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers next week, but should not differ much from the figure which was put on the wire by the state news agency Xinhua.
Here are some of the largest players:
General Motors, up 66.9 percent to 1.83 million units (including more than a million light trucks and utility vehicles made in a joint venture with Wuling, where GM holds a minority interest.) The king of the passenger vehicle hill is Volkswagen with a record 1.4 million cars sold, up 36.7 percent. Hyundai Motor and its affiliate, Kia, likely took the #3 spot with 811,695 vehicles sold in China last year, an 85.9 percent increase. Nissan is the largest Japanese brand in China, its sales jumped 38.7 percent to 756,000 vehicles. Toyota sold 709,000 vehicles, up 21 percent. Ford’s sales grew 44 percent to 440,619 vehicles. China’s more than 100 auto makers sold the rest.
It’s likewise official what we had predicted since February 2009: China is the world’s largest auto market. It is so by a wider than we had thought: China did beat the U.S.A. by 3.2m units.
Really bad sign: The DetN thinks it will get worse. They quoted Rao Da, general secretary of the China Passenger Car Association, who 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. “People there are getting richer and can afford cars. Younger people can work for two or three years and with the help of their parents can buy a car,” Rao said. “Being able to afford a car in China is not so difficult any more. People with an average salary can afford to buy a car.”
If Rao’s prognosis of 20 percent growth pans out in 2010, then Chinese will buy more than 16m cars this year. When and where did we hear that number last time?
Refer to TTAC’s roundup of 2009 sales data for a continuously updated roundup of 2009 sales data from around the world.
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Omoikane: I agree that China is a repeat of Korea in the late 80's, and of Japan in the 60's. The huge difference is population. Whereas Japan has 128m people, and South Korea has 49m people, China has way above 1.3b people (the real number is believed to be 1.5b.) That's 10 times the population of Japan, and 27 times the population of South Korea.
The growth in Japan and Korea quickly outstripped the labor supply and necessitated deals with the unions which quickly cut into the competitiveness of both countries. China's labor pool is as vast as the country.