With the advent of the summer heat and also coinciding with the football (soccer) World Cup in Brazil, the Chinese dealers reported dwindling traffic in their showrooms.
According to a statement on China’s Passenger Car Association website, the deliveries of cars, multipurpose and sport utility vehicles went up 11.5% to a total of 1.32 million units cars last month. The advance compares to a 14% climb in June.
“July is a traditionally low season for auto sales,” said Vivien Chan, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Oriental Patron Securities Ltd. “With the World Cup in July, there’s also some impact.”
The China Automobile Dealers Association also said that last month’s auto inventories in the country were at a higher than usual level, signaling mounting pressure and rising risks for dealers. The slowdown also comes amid the nation’s main economic planners’ anti-monopoly probe that has so far targeted only the foreign brands, such as Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen AG’s Audi or the Chrysler Group.
Among the big automakers, General Motors – which counts China as its main delivery market – recorded a 13% sales gain, buoyed by increased demand for its Chevrolet and Wuling brands. On the other hand, the three main Japanese automakers again were faced with declines: Toyota was down 1%; Honda’s sales plummeted 23% and Nissan’s deliveries were off 12%.