China In September 2011: Yawn
September, usually a good sales month in China, brought no change to the tepid growth of the formerly red-hot Chinese car market. Automobile output was 1.60 million, and remained “basically flat,” as the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) said. Auto sales are up by 5.52 percent compared to September last year.
Again, the overall number was dragged down by commercial vehicles. Their sales are down 5.92 percent. Passenger vehicles are up 8.79 percent.
For the first nine months, auto sales in China stand at 13.63 million units, up 3.62 percent compared to the same period in 2010. Production in the period grew 2.75 percent to 13.46 million units.
Sales could be down in the following months. “The September sales were stimulated by people rushing to showrooms to buy vehicles” before the government tightened up its subsidy policy on Oct 1, Rao Da, secretary-general of the China Passenger Car Association, told China Daily. “The figure and growth rate far exceeded industry expectations.” On Sept 16, the Ministry of Finance said that it would alter its 2-year-old subsidy policy for fuel-saving vehicles, making more than 70 percent of the original 427 models ineligible for the subsidies.