China Vehicle Sales Up in September
GM, VW and Ford post reasonable sales figures as China goes on holiday.
China's passenger car sales grew 9% in September - the fastest pace in the last seven months – due to discounts offered before the national holidays. GM, VW and Ford enjoyed a modest rise in sales before October, which is the best season for drivers making impulse car purchases, according to CSC International Holdings analyst Han Weiqi.
Shanghai General Motors Co. saw the largest increase out of the three automakers, with a 15% rise in sales from the same month last year, which it attributes to higher microvan sales. The Shanghai-based joint venture, which produces the Buick, Chevrolet and Cadillac brands, says its joint ventures sold 240,000 vehicles in September.
Volkswagen's China sales increased 6.7% last month to 160,000 units, roughly in line with industry sales. Volkswagen Group's main brands in China are VW, Skoda and Audi, with the latter seeing a 33% jump in year-on-year sales to 29,500 units. China is now VW Group's largest market, and the German automaker is spending heavily on new factories to help sustain its expected growth.
Ford China's passenger sales rose moderately in September, though commercial truck sales showed a slight decline. Notably, sales of the popular Ford Mondeo were up 37% thanks to strong demand for the Ecoboost version. Overall sales for the first three quarters totalled 386,000 units, up a decent 10%.
Although September vehicle sales show promise, Chinese automakers have cut their sales targets for 2011 for the second time in three months to less than 5%, due to restrictive governmental policies and the expiration of various tax rebates.