Ve­hi­cle sales post mea­ger growth in Novem­ber

China Daily European Weekly - - Business - By LI FUSHENG li­fusheng@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Ve­hi­cle sales posted a mea­ger 0.7 per­cent year-on-year growth in China dur­ing Novem­ber to 2.96 mil­lion units, ac­cord­ing to data re­leased by the China As­so­ci­a­tion of Au­to­mo­bile Man­u­fac­tur­ers on Dec 11.

Car sales in the first 11 months of the year to­taled 25.85 mil­lion units, a 3.6 per­cent growth from a year ago. Al­though a de­cent fig­ure if put in the global con­text, the growth rate is 10.5 per­cent­age points lower than the year-on-year growth fig­ure for Jan­uary to Novem­ber 2016.

Xu Haidong, an as­sis­tant to the CAAM’s sec­re­tary-gen­eral, says over­all sales growth this year will “def­i­nitely fall to be­low 4 per­cent”. At the be­gin­ning of the year, the or­ga­ni­za­tion es­ti­mated 5 per­cent growth.

The lower sales fig­ures are due to a num­ber of fac­tors, rang­ing from a pur­chase tax dis­count that is grad­u­ally los­ing its ef­fect and the over­all eco­nomic con­di­tions in China.

The tax dis­count, which stood at 50 per­cent when in­tro­duced in 2015, has been halved from Jan­uary this year and will ex­pire by the end of this month. “The trend is clear. Growth will slow down even fur­ther next year,” Xu says, with­out giv­ing an es­ti­mate.

Pas­sen­ger cars, which ac­count for the bulk of sales, saw even slower growth than the over­all fig­ure. A to­tal of 22 mil­lion pas­sen­ger cars were sold from Jan­uary to Novem­ber, a 1.9 per­cent in­crease year-onyear.

Even that growth would have been im­pos­si­ble with­out sport util­ity ve­hi­cles, whose sales grew by 14.5 per­cent year-on-year to 9.09 mil­lion units, while sedan sales dipped by 2.3 per­cent. Sales of mul­ti­pur­pose ve­hi­cles fell by 16.5 per­cent, while mini­van sales were down by 20.1 per­cent in the same pe­riod.

How­ever, new en­ergy cars — elec­tric cars, plug-in hy­brids and fuel-cell cars — saw solid growth. A record num­ber of 119,000 were sold in Novem­ber, surg­ing by 83 per­cent year-on-year. Sales in the first 11 months reached 609,000, a 51.4 per­cent in­crease year-on-year.

“Their devel­op­ment is in line with our ex­pec­ta­tions. It is now al­most cer­tain that their sales this year will reach our whole-year es­ti­mate of 700,000,” says Xu.

“We are con­fi­dent in new en­ergy cars and see no prob­lems in their sales reach­ing 1 mil­lion in 2018.”

Charg­ing net­works for such ve­hi­cles have also been grow­ing rapidly, with a to­tal of 431,800 charg­ing poles built by the end of Novem­ber, ac­cord­ing to the China Elec­tric Ve­hi­cle Charg­ing In­fra­struc­ture Pro­mo­tion Al­liance.

Com­mer­cial cars, in­clud­ing buses and trucks, also re­ported de­cent sales per­for­mance. In Novem­ber, 368,000 ve­hi­cles were sold, a 7.3 per­cent rise from the same month last year.

That brought sales in the first 11 months to 3.75 mil­lion, up by nearly 15 per­cent year-on-year — 11.2 per­cent­age points higher than the in­dus­try’s av­er­age.

XU CONGJUN / FOR CHINA DAILY

An em­ployee works at an elec­tric car fac­tory in Nan­tong, Jiangsu province.

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