While for 2014 analysts and industry observers forecast the overall pace of the auto industry growth in China would settle at around 10%, it looks like consumers are set to go over the limit.
As the Japanese brands extended their rebound following last year’s sales collapse due to a territorial dispute triggering a surge in anti-Japanese sentiment, passenger-vehicle sales went on to beat the estimates, with an 18% growth.
According to the state-backed China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, in February the sales of cars, multipurpose and sport utility vehicles reached a tally of 1.31 million units – beating an analysts median estimate of 1.27 million cars.
“Japanese brands have continued to show growth,” Yankun Hou and Ming Xu, analysts at UBS AG, said in a report. “We believe the market is too negative over auto demand,” which will be “supported by resilient inland demand.”
Buses and trucks, total motor vehicle sales last month were up 18% to 1.6 million units and for the first two months the tally stands at 3.75 million deliveries, with an 11% growth.
While Ford’s sales rose the fastest among the last seven months – as foreign brands extend their domination over China’s own homegrown auto industry, the real winners were Toyota, Honda and the likes from Japan, which continued their recovery following the anti-Japan protests of 2012.