New car sales in China start growing again image

New car sales in China rebounded in October but Japanese brands continued to fall amid a territorial dispute between Beijing and Tokyo.

Auto sales in the world’s biggest auto market rose 6.4 percent to 1.3 million vehicles, according to China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM). The result represents a recovery from September’s 0.3 percent contraction – the first monthly decline this year.

Japanese brands continued to lose sales however, declining 38 percent overall from a year earlier. Sales of Japanese cars plunged in September as the territorial dispute between Beijing and Tokyo made buyers avoid Japanese showrooms.

Chinese customers who planned to buy Japanese models are delaying purchases but have yet to switch to other brands, according to auto analyst Jia Xinguang quoted by the Detroit Free Press. Sales growth might improve in coming months as the Chinese economy starts to recover from a deep slump and automakers put pressure on dealers to sell inventory, Jia added.

Sales growth in China declined from 15.8 percent in June to 11 percent in July and 3.7 percent in August. In October, total vehicle sales rose 5.3 percent to 1.6 million units, according to the CAAM.