Imports Continue to Rise, While Chinese Dealers Struggle to Make Sales image

China Automobile Trading reports that in May 88,051 vehicles were imported in the country, up 21.9% compared to 2011.

This is the fourth consecutive month when imports exceed 20%. Inventories have hit unseen levels and dealerships try hard to make new sales.

“Looking at the import market this April, [we see] a noticeable contradiction. On the one hand, import automobile [sales] numbers are still experiencing non-stop growth, while on the other, dealerships are continuing to suffer. The number of promotional offers [they are introducing to] the market is increasing, while [their] profits are continuing to fall. Inventory concentration has already reached its highest amount in a year,” said Wang Cun, head of CATC’s marketing and sales division.

In May passenger cars accounted for 86, 074 of all imports, over half of them being SUVs. From January to April a total of 372,450 vehicles were imported, up 21.6% from 306,200 units imported in the same period last year. Import sales growth are due to the new models introduced to China by BMW, Mercedes-Benz and VW, which reached sales of 16,100 units, 11,100 units and 6,900 units, respectively. Audi and Lexus, sold 6,800 and 5,200 units, respectively.