China: overall vehicle sales climb 5.2% in June image

While the retail sales of cars, multipurpose and sport utility vehicles jumped last month by 14% to 1.47 million units, overall vehicle deliveries in the world’s largest auto market only grew by 5.2%.

The state-backed China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) also counts heavy vehicle sales in the report, with the total rising in June to 1.85 million vehicles. For the first six months, the sales went up 8.4% – a slowdown from last year’s tally of 13.9%. The figures fall in line with CAAM’s previous forecasts that saw the double-digit jumps in China slowing down to a more normal level of 8-10 % for 2014.

June’s increases were mostly triggered by the expanses of the foreign carmakers, with the US and European automakers posting the strongest growth. Ford, a late bloomer on China’s already crowded and competitive market managed to maintain momentum with an increase of 35%, while PSA Peugeot Citroen closely followed with a 24% rise. The French automaker is clearly benefiting from the recent tie-up with its main local partner – Dongfeng Motor Co.

On the other hand, the Chinese domestic carmakers are still losing ground to the all out offensive of the overseas brands, with sales at Great Wall Motor Co Ltd – the country’s biggest maker of SUVs – slipping 6% in the first six months or Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd posting an unwanted record – as deliveries were down 29%.