Sales of domestic passenger cars in China edges up by half a percent in October 2017, to almost 2.32 million sales, the highest volume of the year so far. With such a slow growth rate and 2 months ahead of us with booming growth rates last year, it will be difficult for the Chinese car market to reach its expected 5% growth rate in 2017. Year-to-date sales for the first 10 months are up 3,34% to just over 19 million. If the pace does not improve for the full year, it would be the slowest growth rate in modern history, and down from 17,2% last year. At least we can be almost sure the market will show another record year as sales would have to be down 12% in the last 2 months for a full-year decline (or down to their 2015 levels, which hasn’t happened a single time so far this year). Back to October: the only segment to show growth was that of crossovers and SUVs again, which were up by 13,5% to 995.600 sales (YTD up 17,3%), while sedans were down 3,9% to 1.116.200 sales (YTD up 1,9%) and MPVs too the biggest hit at -13,2% to 205.600 sales (YTD down 5,7%). Within those sales figures, sales of electric cars and plug-in hybrids jumped 107% to 91.000, or 4% of the market. For the first 10 months, EV and plug-in hybrid sales rose 45% to almost 490.000 units, or 2,6% of the total market. The Beijing government has set a target of 6,7% in 2020 and as much as 20% by 2025, helped by a carbon credit scheme that was originally planned to be imposed in 2018 but which has been postponed to 2019. This year, an estimated 700.000 New Energy Vehicles are expected to be sold.
The Seasonally Adjusted Annualized selling Rate in October stood at 25,8 million, a similar level as last month. The share of domestic automakers in October jumped to 42,8%, up 3 percentage points on September and the highest figure since last March, but still down from 44,2% in October 2016. Sales of domestic brand vehicles across all segments were down 2,7%, compared to a gain of 5,2% for European brands, +5,3% for US brands and +10% for Japanese. In contrast, South-Korean brands continued their losing streak to 10 months as they lost 21,5% in October and 53,1% YTD. [Read more…]