New car sales up 0.29 percent in China in November image

Car sales in China increased 0.29 percent in November from the same month last year, fueled by year-end promotions offered by car dealers.

More significant growth is expected in December, when automakers and dealers usually offer aggressive discounts in order to meet their annual sales targets. A total of 1.34 million vehicles were sold in November, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) announced. November sales were 10.1 percent higher than October sales.

“October was almost flat, but sales have been picking up gradually since the beginning of the month as rebates and other gimmicks kicked in,” Sheng Ye, associate research director at industry consultancy Ipsos’ Greater China region was quoted as saying by Reuters. “Japanese automakers such as Toyota and Honda are more aggressive than the European or American players, as they try to recoup some of the lost sales in China because of the earthquake,” he added.

For instance, some versions of the Toyota Camry are currently on sale with discounts of almost 16 percent. Nissan and Honda are also offering substantial discounts for Teana and Accord models. Local brands are also using rebates to push sales forward, as they were badly hit by the cancelling of tax incentives for small cars.

The Chinese market gained 5.3 percent in the first 11 months of the year, much less than than the 32 percent increase from 2010 or the 46 percent gain from 2009.