Ooops. Time to send our patent-pending TTAC China sales oracle on vacation. Send the China Automotive Technology & Research Center (and Bloomberg) right with them. The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) has given the official word on Chinese car sales in July 2010. And they are down. Way down.
Up on the month! Up on the year! Second best month of the year! Cars now selling more than before, even with incentives gone! Wow, our tropical wonderland just gets better and better. Sales are up 15.27 percent on June and 4.27 percent better than the same month last year, for a grand total of 285,299 (according to Brazilian car mag’s Quatro Rodas website). Comparing to the last two months ( here and here), both month-to-month and year-to-year (8.48 percent better) numbers register positively. However, incentives are gone, so naturally sales should be down. Not! Now, I’ve read far and wide on Brazilian internet sites, car rags and whatnot, and nobody has had the guts to explain what’s going on. So I’ll call like it is (or, at least as I see it). There’s a new phenomenon out there. I’m branding it the Uno effect. Not to be modest, but I called it first ( here and here). I want my laurels!
Last month, I asked whether the UK car market had taken a blue pill. The reason I’d asked is because sales were rising despite the local “bangers for cash” scheme had ended months ago. Well, it appears that the effects are finally wearing off (I was going to say “flopping” but we’ve used that metaphor enough). The SMMT reports that UK new car registrations fell 13.2 percent in July 2010. This marks the first month in this year where sales dropped. This is expected to continue through 2010 as the market slows down. This is not surprising as the government cutbacks will start to take effect this year.
“A drop in private registrations compared to the scrappage-fuelled months of 2009 was expected and has brought the first market decline for 12 months,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive. “Subdued consumer confidence and a still fragile economic recovery make the outlook for the remainder of 2010 challenging, but a stronger than expected first half means full year volumes are still forecast to exceed 2009’s total.”. Another curious finding of the report was how diesel vehicles are now the dominant powertrain of choice, with market share up to 50.6 percent. Anyway, shall we take a closer look at the figures?
China’s red-hot growth numbers are coming down to earth. Which doesn’t mean that the Chinese are stopping to buy cars. We are now getting into a territory where previous year sales increases were so insane that any more outrageous growth would simply be certifiable. In July 2009, sales in China had exploded by 70 percent. A month later, in August 2009, sales nearly doubled from a year earlier. Any growth that betters these numbers is amazing.
Official numbers for July sales in Germany are out now, and did we mention that the Verband der Importeure VDIK (German Association of Car Importers) is usually reliable? They said 237.500 cars in July. The official number, as reported by the Kraftfahrtbundesamt, is 237.428. The official drop is 30.2 percent.
Official numbers for July sales are not out yet (the Kraftfahrtbundesamt will report later today aor tomorrow), but Automobilwoche [sub] heard from the usually reliable Verband der Importeure VDIK (German Association of Car Importers) that new registrations dropped in July by 30 percent compared to July 2009. Germans bought 237.500 cars in July. This is bad, but not as bad as it sounds.
Yesterday, I wrote about how GM had beaten the French and made them concede benefits in return for job security. Well, it seems that the French got their own back on GM in a round about sort of way. Bloomberg reports that Opel sales in France dropped a massive 30 percent to 6,462 units in July. This doesn’t bode well for Nick Reilly, head of GM’s European division, as he tries to make Opel attractive enough for the corporate mothership to finance a turnaround with American taxpayers’ money. Shall we take a closer look at the French sales figures…?
Hot summer. Hot deals. Time to clear out the lot for the 2011 models. Bloomberg figures that July sales broke all records since last August’s short-lived cash-4-clunkers frenzy. Eight analysts, polled by Bloomberg’s, predict a July SAAR of 11.9 million.
Real numbers will be released tomorrow, and TTAC will be there for the blow-by-blow.
In the meantime, all indicators are in the top band.
It’s that time of the month again, and welcome to another episode of Chinese Numerology. As it has become a TTAC tradition, the China Automotive Technology & Research Center jumps the gun again with an off-the-wall number. Shameless Bloomberg prints it and reports that “retail deliveries of cars, sport-utility vehicles and multipurpose vehicles rose 15.4 percent last month from a year earlier to 822,300, the China Automotive Technology & Research Center said in a statement today. That compared with 10.9 percent growth in June.” No, it did not. The CATRC is known for pretty good safety research and for awfully wrong numbers. You can safely ignore them, along with the rest of that Bloomberg tale.
One can always count on the Japanese to be first with a precise sales count for the preceding month. New car sales in Japan rose for the 12th straight month in July, up 15.5 percent compared to July of the previous year. Customers bought 333,403 units in July, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association told The Nikkei [sub].
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- JamesGarfield Re: Getting away from union plantsAbout a dozen years or so ago, Caterpillar built a huge new engine plant, just down the road here in Seguin TX. Story has it, Caterpillar came to Seguin City council in advance, and told them their plans. Then they asked for no advanced publicity from Seguin, until announcement day. This new plant was gonna be a non-union replacement for a couple of union plants in IL and SC, and Cat didn't want to stir up union problems until the plan was set. They told Seguin, If you about blab this in advance, we'll walk. Well, Seguin kept quiet as instructed, and the plan went through, with all the usual expected tax abatements given.Plant construction began, but the Caterpillar name was conspicuously absent from anywhere on the site. Instead, the plant was described as being a collective of various contractors and suppliers for Caterpillar. Which in fact, it was. Then comes the day, with the big new plant fully operationa!, that Caterpillar comes in and announces, Hey, Yeah it's our plant, and the Caterpillar name boldly goes up on the front. All you contractor folks, welcome aboard, you're now Caterpillar employees. Then, Cat turns and announces they are closing those two union plants immediately, and will be transporting all the heavy manufacturing equipment to Seguin. None of the union workers, just the equipment. And today, the Caterpillar plant sits out there, humming away happily, making engines for the industry and good paying jobs for us. I'd call that a winner.
- Stuki Moi What Subaru taketh away in costs, dealers will no doubt add right back in adjustments.... Fat chance Subaru will offer a sufficient supply of them.
- Dartdude Lorenzo, the reason for low manual transmission here is that most dealers won't stock them. I wanted a 2012 Kia Koup with manual tranny it was available, but no dealers ordered any from the factory hence there was none available. Go on any car manufacture's web site and price and build and build your model and you would be lucky if the model existed and was available.
- The Oracle Good news is that based on the model years many of these have already been junked or experienced terminal engine failure.
- Lou_BC I'm confused, isn't a Prologue a preview? This would be a preview of a preview.