Chinese auto sales up 10.7 percent in the first two months

Looking good

Looking good

It’s an annual tradition: Each year around this time, there is breathless reporting of wild swings in auto sales in the world’s largest car market, China. Old China hands wait until the numbers for both January and February are in to make an assessment. The reason: China’s biggest annual holiday, Chinese New Year , follows the lunar calendar and is at different dates each year.  The holidays affect both the numbers of hard selling days as well as the general buying behavior. To get a clear picture and a firm base for a comparison, seasoned industry watchers look at the total of both months. The total looks good.

Spring Season China Auto Sales
2014 2013 Change
January
2,156,400

2,034,500
6.0%
February

1,596,400

1,354,600
17.9%
Jan-Feb 3,752,800 3,389,100 10.7%

In the first two months of the (western) calendar year, auto sales in China (all segments) rose a very healthy 10.7 percent, China’s CAAM reports. Passenger car sales were up 11.33% in the same period, commercial vehicle sales rose 7.62%.

China’s domestic brands continue to lose market share. “China’s homegrown auto industry is currently facing huge challenges despite being in the early stage of development,” Dong Yang, secretary general of CAAM, said at a Beijing press conference. “Internally, there are also issues such as weak innovation and competitiveness.”

After climbing a surprising 13.9 percent  to 21.9 million units last year, the Chinese auto market is forecast to grow a more sedate 10 percent this year. Which would mean 24 million units sold by the end of 2014.