cars undimmed by new policies
Passenger vehicle sales in China
continued to surge in January, registering a 15 percent
increase over the same month last year.
The increase came despite central government
putting an end to tax incentives for buyers of small
cars and subsidies for trade-ins, and launching a
quota policy in Beijing to curb car purchases.
Total domestic sales of cars, sports-utility
vehicles, multi-purpose vehicles and minivans increased
by 15.3 percent to 1,402,764 units in January from
a year earlier. However, the figure was 4.8 percent
lower than that in December, said the China Passenger
Car Association on Monday.
Meanwhile, the luxury-vehicle segment
continued to lead the industry with robust sales growth.
Following a record-breaking sales performance in 2010,
Mercedes-Benz started 2011 with year-on-year sales
growth of 89 percent for January, delivering nearly
15,330 units of Mercedes-Benz, Smart, AMG and Maybach
on the Chinese mainland.
However, Rao Da, secretary-general of
the association warned that the increasing inventory
to dealers might lead to a decrease in sales over
the coming months. He also said that the Spring Festival
holiday and a possible petrol price hike might result
in a 35 percent year-on-year negative sales growth
this month, and could add more pressure to the inventory.
Rao even predicted a possible negative
year-on-year sales growth in China's automobile industry,
the first for two decades, because of excessive consumption
during the past two years provoked partly by the government's
The China Association of Automobile
Manufacturers, which will release sales figures for
the entire industry on Friday, predicted that whole-year
growth will slow to 10 to 15 percent, after domestic
auto sales jumped 32.37 percent to 18.06 million vehicles
in 2010, overtaking the United States for a second