Car sales hitting road bumps

09:14, August 06, 2010      

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Analysts predicted a negative year-on-year auto sales growth nationwide in August as the market continues to cool amid the off-season.

Figures from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers showed China's auto sales have seen month-on-month slides since March. The China Automotive Technology &Research Center said earlier this week July sales continued to fall from June.

"The slow-down will get worse in August, when most automakers will see negative sales growth," Shanghai-based auto analyst Zhang Yu with consulting firm IHS Automotive told the Global Times Thursday. Zhang attributed the possible sluggish performance this month to seasonal factors.

Signs of a cooling after one year of rapid expansion are already showing. Chongqing Changan said Thursday its sales in July fell 7.4 percent to 99,854 units and its output was also down 7.5 percent to 109,214.

China's ninth largest automaker, BYD, slashed its 2010 auto sales target by 25 percent following a review of market demand and available capacity at its production facilities, Henry Li, the company's general manager of auto export trade division, was quoted Wednesday by Wall Street Journal as saying.

General Motors said Tuesday its July sales in China rose to 176,645 units, up 22 percent year-on-year. But that was less than half the 44.5 percent growth rate from January to July. Sales of Ford Motor's two joint ventures rose to 38,033 units in July, up 8 percent —a fraction of the automaker's 38 percent growth for the first seven months.

Zhang said the slow down would continue in the following months of the year, but December would see a rebound. It won't be much higher from a year earlier without further stimulus measures, said Zhang.

Zhong Shi, editor-in-chief of China Automotive Review, told the Global Times that zero or negative growth rate in August may make automakers readjust their production plans, adding the second half will be tough on most dealers when inventory rises to a record high after au-tomakers increased capacity in the frenzy to keep up with sales earlier this year.

Source: Global Times


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