Chinese Car Sales: The Big Get Bigger, The Small Not So Much

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
chinese car sales the big get bigger the small not so much

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.

  • Chery reports an increase of 17.52 percent over last January with 86,299 units sold. However, these are global numbers. 10,505 units were exported, up 100 percent from the previous January.
  • Geely’s sales rose only 4 percent compared to January of 2010. 45,634 units were sold. That number is down 18.7 percent from the record level achieved in December. Geely is very strong in the sub 1.6 liter segment, profited a lot from the lowered taxes for this segment and got it on the nose when the subsidies were withdrawn.
  • Nissan’s sales jumped 32.6 percent on the year to 113,000 units in China last month.
  • Major Chinese players such as GM and Volkswagen already had reported strong growth in January. Luxury sales were especially hot.
  • Yesterday, the China Passenger Car Association reported that sales of passenger cars rose 12.6 percent to 965,238 units in January. However, this is only part of the count. The final official number will be announced by the CAAM. We await these data for Friday.

Looking over the data, it appears that there was a pull-forward effect in the sub 1.6 liter segment, where Chinese homegrown brands are strong. The bigger bore segments, domain of the joint ventures with foreign makers, appear unaffected.

GM CEO Daniel Akerson is in Beijing today. He is banking on China’s health. He announced that GM will add over 20 new and upgraded models in China in the next two years. “China is clearly a crown jewel in the GM universe,” Akerson told the assembled press while Reuters was taking notes. “China is a unique market sitting in what I think is the highest growth area in the world for the next 10, 20, 30 years.”

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  • Snabster Snabster on Feb 15, 2011

    I wonder if you can compare the Taiwanese market with Chinese market. What is the per capita car ownership there -- about 100 per 100? (as opposed to the 700/1000 in the US)

  • Glen.H Glen.H on Feb 16, 2011

    Good news for us here in Australia!

  • Tassos What was the last time we had any good news from Ford? (or GM for that matter?)The last one was probably when Alan Mulally was CEO. Were you even born back then?Fields was a total disaster, then they go hire this clown from Toyota's PR department, the current Ford CEO, Fart-ley or something.He claims to be an auto enthusiast too (unlike Mary Barra who is even worse, but of course always forgiven, as she is the proud owner of a set of female genitals.
  • Tassos I know some would want to own a collectible Mustang. (sure as hell not me. This crappy 'secretary's car' (that was exactly its intended buying demo) was as sophisticated (transl. : CRUDE) as the FLintstone's mobile. Solid Real Axle? Are you effing kidding me?There is a huge number of these around, so they are neither expensive nor valuable.WHen it came out, it was $2,000 or so new. A colleague bought a recent one with the stupid Ecoboost which also promised good fuel economy. He drives a hard bargain and spends time shopping and I remember he paid $37k ( the fool only bought domestic crap, but luckily he is good with his hands and can fix lots of stuff on them).He told me that the alleged fuel economy is obtained only if you drive it like a VERY old lady. WHich defeats the purpose, of course, you might as well buy a used Toyota Yaris (not even a Corolla).
  • MRF 95 T-Bird Back when the Corolla consisted of a wide range of body styles. This wagon, both four door and two door sedans, a shooting brake like three door hatch as well as a sports coupe hatchback. All of which were on the popular cars on the road where I resided.
  • Wjtinfwb Jeez... I've got 3 Ford's and have been a defender due to my overall good experiences but this is getting hard to defend. Thinking the product durability testing that used to take months to rack up 100k miles or more is being replaced with computer simulations that just aren't causing these real-world issues to pop up. More time at the proving ground please...
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