China: SUVs buoy first two months sales image

Driven by increased demand for both sport utility vehicles and minivans the auto sales in China, the world’s largest single auto market, have grown rapidly over the course of the year’s first two months.

Retail deliveries of passenger vehicles jumped 16 percent to 3.49 million units in January and February, according to a statement posted on the China Passenger Car Association website. Among the auto segments, deliveries of SUVs and minivans soared 66 percent and 20 percent, respectively. The industry body has chosen to present both months as just one tally due to the country’s week-long national Lunar New Year holiday, which falls on different days each year and could have a serious impact if the months were split. The state-backed China Association of Automobile Manufacturers has predicted sales this year would lose pace from two years ago – when growth stood at 14 percent overall – to just 8 percent this year to 21.3 million units. The strong year start could over time yield a more positive forecast across the industry.

The total vehicle sales grew 4.3 percent to 3.91 million units, according to the association, while wholesale deliveries of passenger vehicles in January and February were lifted by 8.7 percent to 3.43 million units from the same period in 2014 – said the CAM. “According to current market demand, there isn’t a high expectation for growth to exceed projections for the entire year,” commented ohn Luo, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Guosen (HK) Securities. that’s because China’s economy is expected to reach this year its slowest annual expansion target – just 7 percent – since the 1990s, according to forecasts by Premier Li Keqiang.

Via Bloomberg