The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

China's 2012 auto sales rise 7.1 per cent after purchases accelerate in December

  • Print

BEIJING, China - China's auto sales rose 7.1 per cent in 2012 after growth accelerated in December as an economic recovery began to gain traction, an industry group reported Friday.

Sales in the world's biggest market by number of vehicles sold totalled 15.5 million units, the China Association of Auto Manufacturers said. December sales rose 6.9 per cent to 1.46 million vehicles.

Global automakers are looking to China to drive revenues amid weakness elsewhere. But last year's growth was hampered by an economic slump and ownership restrictions imposed by some cities to curb traffic and smog.

Full-year growth was healthy even though it came in below the CAAM's earlier forecast of 8 per cent, said Zhang Xin, an industry analyst for Guotai Jun'an Securities in Beijing.

"The purchasing power of Chinese auto customers is pretty good," said Zhang. "Growth in 2013 could be even better, even without any stimulus. And the new government also is advocating expanding domestic demand."

The communist government is promoting auto manufacturing and ownership but has tried to fine-tune policies to encourage sales of smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles. General Motors Co., Nissan Motor Co. and Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz have launched lower-priced Chinese brands for the vast but poor rural market.

Sales that racked up monthly double digit increases in the first half of the year decelerated as China's economic growth slowed to a three-year low of 7.4 per cent in the three months ended in September. Sales growth declined steadily from June's 15.8 per cent to 11 per cent in July before bottoming out at 3.7 per cent in August.

As for China's new but ambitious domestic automakers, sales rose 6.1 per cent to 6.5 million vehicles, meaning they lost market share to global rivals, the association said. Their share of the passenger car market declined 0.4 percentage point from 2011 to 41.9 per cent.

"They are hurt more by foreign brands than by local or the newly created local ones," said Zhang. "Competition in the future will be stronger and stronger, for sure."

Total vehicle sales including trucks and buses rose 7.1 per cent in December to 1.8 million vehicles, according to the CAAM. For the year, sales rose 4.3 per cent to 19.3 million vehicles.

Also Friday, the Chinese government released a forecast that total vehicle sales should rise to 20.8 million this year.

Among global automakers, Ford Motor Co. said earlier sales of Ford brand vehicles in China rose 21 per cent in 2012 to 626,616 vehicles. It said December sales rose 43 per cent from a year earlier to 70,510.

Sales of Japanese brands were hurt by tensions between Beijing and Tokyo over disputed islands in the East China Sea, which kept buyers away from the showrooms of Japanese autos.

Nissan said its 2012 sales fell 5.3 per cent to 1.18 million vehicles but beat its forecast of 1.175 million. It said December sales of 90,400 vehicles showed a "continuing recovery trend" over November but gave no details.

Daimler said Chinese sales of its Mercedes-Benz, Smart, AMG and Maybach brands rose 4 per cent over 2011 to 206,150 vehicles.

___

AP researcher Fu Ting in Shanghai contributed.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Winnipeg Jets Bogosian-Little-Ladd

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Bright sunflowers lift their heads toward the south east skies in a  large sunflower field on Hwy 206 and #1 Thursday Standup photo. July 31,  2012 (Ruth Bonneville/Winnipeg Free Press)
  • MIKE.DEAL@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 100615 - Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 The Mane Attraction - Lions are back at the Assiniboine Park Zoo. Xerxes a 3-year-old male African Lion rests in the shade of a tree in his new enclosure at the old Giant Panda building.  MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you think the Scottish independence referendum will have an effect in Canada?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google