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Honeymoon over for China's homegrown autos

(People's Daily)

15:46, November 08, 2011

Edited and translated by People's Daily Online

Beijing, Nov.8 (People's Daily Online) -- China's independent auto brands sold a total of nearly 4.5 million passenger vehicles in the first three quarters of 2011, representing a drop of 0.80 percent from a year earlier and accounting for more than 42 percent of the total passenger vehicle sales volume, according to the latest data from the China Association of Auto Manufacturers.

The market share of domestic independent auto brands was down by nearly 3.1 percentage points from the same period last year. Independent domestic brand automakers sold 2.2 million cars, accounting for 29.13 percent of the total car sales volume. Their market share was down by nearly 1.2 percentage points from a year earlier.

The retail sales in niche markets can perhaps better reveal the pain of transformation facing independent domestic auto brands. The average monthly sales volume of the top 10 medium and high-end cars, all of which were produced by joint ventures, stood above 8,000 in the third quarter.

The Besturn B70, the best-performing of all homegrown medium and high-end car models, recorded an average monthly sales volume of only roughly 1,500. However, the average monthly sales volume of six models of cars produced by joint ventures exceeded 8,000 in the third quarter of 2010, while Besturn B70 recorded an average monthly sales volume of nearly 3,500 and BYD F6, an average monthly sales volume of 2,100.

What about the performance of independent brands in the vital compact car market this year? It is somewhat comforting that three out of nine compact car models with an average monthly sales volume of more than 5,000 in the third quarter were from independent brands, representing an increase of one model from a year earlier.

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wende at 2011-11-0871.255.85.*
Chinese automakers must improve sales volume by checking on customers" satisfaction with its service, cars" quality, and use marketing techniques like ads, promotion, financing, courtesy

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