China April passenger car sales down 12% from March image

China’s passenger car sales in April came to 1.11 million units, up 34% year on year but down 12% from March as a year-long surge in demand began to slow down, media reported today, citing a private research group.
Sales had jumped 63% in March from a year earlier to 1.26 million sold, said the China Passenger Car Association. The slowing in demand was expected after the last year’s overdrive, and total sales this year is likely to grow between 15% and 17%.

China surpassed the U.S. to become the world’s largest auto market last year, when total sales jumped 45% to 13.6 million vehicles, mainly boosted by government stimulus measures, such as tax cuts for small cars and trade-in subsidies for clean vehicles.

China’s passenger vehicle sales grew 52.9% to 10.3 million units in 2009, and the growth is expected to slow this year. While sales of mini-vehicles remain strong, the impact of government incentives for small cars and vans has begun to wane.

April sales of passenger and commercial vehicles reached 1.39 million units, up 9.8% m/m and 40.02% y/y, with stockpiles in auto companies and dealerships nearing 1 million units for the first four months, said an industry research center.

By George Gao –