China's auto sales rebounds in August

Updated: 2010-09-09 20:05
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China's auto sales rebounds in August

Cars are seen in a traffic jam in the second ring road in Beijing September 9, 2010. [Photo/Agencies] 

BEIJING-- China's domestic automakers sales to auto dealers rebounded 6.29 percent month on month to 1.322 million units in August after a monthly decline in July, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) said here Thursday.

The August auto sales at the wholesale level represented an increase of 16.14 percent year on year, according to the CAAM figures.

Domestically-made auto output dipped 0.64 percent from July to 1.277million units in August but still posted an increase of 12 percent from the same month last year, according to the CAAM.

Manufacturers' sales to auto dealers was 1.244 million units in July,down 11.9 percent from June while output dropped 7.54 percent month on month to 1.286 million units, the CAAM data showed.

The August figure brought automakers' auto sales to dealers in the January-August period to 11.58 million units, up 39.02 percent year on year while the output rose 39.27 percent from a year ago to 11.49 million units in the period.

Zhu Yiping, associate secretary-general of CAAM, said the monthly discrepancy between output and sales in August was caused by the heat wave that swept through China early in August.

He said when the heat wave grilled China in August, auto sales went on as usual but many automakers arranged vocations ranging between seven to 10 days for assembly workers, thus affecting the output in the month.

The Chinese government's subsidies for fuel-saving cars that began in July also helped boost auto sales in August, analysts said.

Buyers of cars listed as fuel-saving ones by the government will get a subsidy of 3,000 yuan (442 U.S. dollars) for each vehicle.

"The auto output and sales figures in August were in line with our expectation," Zhu said, adding that in past two months China's auto industry was again growing at a modest rate after rapid development last year due to a subsidy program for car buyers.

China's auto output and sales both expanded by more than 40 percent year on year in 2009 due to the government's car-buying tax reduction and other stimulus measures amid the global economic downturn.

"The auto industry has maintained a sound development momentum this month as automakers' inventories fell remarkably while the auto exports kept growing even amid slower growth for those auto manufacturers," he said.

Analyzed by categories, domestic automakers' sedan sales rose 33.04 percent year on year to 5.953 million units in the January-August period while sedan output totaled 5.962 million units, up 35.49 percent from a year ago.

Demands for sports utility vehicle (SUV) and multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) remained strong in the market. SUV sales surged 120 percent from a year ago to 814,100 units in the first eight months while MPV sales almost doubled to 274,200 units in the period.

According to the CAAM data, SAIC Motor remained the top auto seller in China with 2.326 million units of cars sold in the first eight months, followed by Dongfeng Motor Corporation and First Automobile Works.

According to the CAAM's previous estimates, China's auto sales may exceed 16 million units this year and China will retain its throne as the world's largest car market.

China overtook the United States to become the world's largest auto maker and auto market in 2009, with output and sales respectively hitting 13.79 million and 13.64 million units last year.