China Car Sales in February: good & bad News

Published on March 10, 2011 by Tycho de Feijter

Sales of passenger vehicles in February were up 4.57 percent compared with feb 2010 to 1.26 million units.

Compared with January 2011 however sales went down with a whopping 33%. The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) blames this downfall completely on the Spring Festival, or Chinese New Year Holliday, which fell this year right in February indeed.

But as any Chinese can tell you, Spring Festival is actually the time to go shopping and to go shopping cheap, shops and dealers give huge rebates on everything from toasters to cars. Usually so sales see an upward movement in Spring Festival, not a downward.

So what caused the 33% fall? The government did. The Chinese government cancelled subsidies for ‘cars with engine capacity of 1.6 litre and below’ at the end of 2010. CAAM can’t say directly this caused the fall because doing so would be the same as saying that it is the government’s fault, and saying that is still very much out of the question in China. So instead CAAM uses the Spring Festival blabla.

CAAM however does say it indirectly. Sales of cars with engine capacity of 1.6 litre and below were down 36.88% feb on feb. And; sales of cars with engine capacity of 1.6 litre and below count for 70.41% of the total market. There you got it. Well, almost.

Another reason that got sales down a lot where Beijing’s new rules on plates which basically killed sales in the capital. But of course, CAAM can’t say that either…

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