Chinese monthly passenger-vehicle sales rose to the highest in almost two years, beating analyst estimates, as consumer confidence improved with the economy and dealerships increased discounts to reduce stockpiles.
Wholesale deliveries, including multipurpose and sport utility vehicles, gained 8.75 per cent to 1.46 million units last month, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said. That beat the 1.42 million average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Buyers are stepping up auto purchases as dealerships increase discounts to reduce inventory at the end of the year, according to industry researcher IHS Automotive. China’s growth rebound gathered pace in November, with retail sales gaining the most since March and industrial production accelerating for a third month.
“There’s still strong pent-up demand,” said Ivo Naumann, Shanghai-based managing director at consulting company AlixPartners. “If you wanted originally to buy a car in March and you didn’t buy because you weren’t sure about the economy, now seven, eight months later, at some point you want to have your car.”
Total sales of vehicles, including trucks and buses, rose 8.2 per cent to 1.79 million units last month.
In the first 11 months, passenger-vehicle deliveries climbed 7.1 per cent to 14 million units, the association said.
China passenger car sales will increase about 10 per cent next year, according to Xu Changming, director of information resource development at the State Information Center, part of the nation’s top economic planning body, at a car dealership conference on November 29.
Industrial production climbed 10.1 per cent in November from a year earlier and retail sales growth accelerated to 14.9 per cent, both beating analysts’ estimates, while inflation was 2 per cent, according to figures from the statistics bureau on Sunday.
China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 4.1 per cent last week, the most in a year, on expectations the economic recovery will gather pace and as the Politburo signaled an increased focus on urban development.
Nissan Motor, which has the biggest market share in China among Japanese automakers, reported a 30 per cent drop in November sales to 79,500 units. Honda Motor’s deliveries slumped 29 per cent to 41,205 vehicles, while Toyota dropped 22 per cent to 63,800 vehicles.
Toyota’s China sales will take at least a year to recover to levels before the anti-Japanese sentiment sparked a backlash for Japanese automakers, Toyota senior managing officer Hiroji Onishi said last week.
General Motors, the biggest foreign automaker in China, reported a 9.7 per cent increase in November sales to 260,018 units, led by its Chevrolet and Buick brands. Ford increased sales 56 per cent to 67,505 vehicles last month.
Among luxury carmakers, Bayerische Motoren Werke boosted sales 62 per cent to 31,090 units, while Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz reported a 6.6 per cent drop in deliveries to 16,876 vehicles in China, including Hong Kong.