Auto sales make a come back in China

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Overall new-vehicle sales by automakers operating in China advanced 17 percent to nearly 2.6 million in September, with year-to-date volume down 6.9 percent to roughly 17.1 million.

Strong sales were recorded across the board last month.

Benefiting from a massive investment initiative by the national government to spend on domestic infrastructure projects, sales of new commercial vehicles including trucks and buses surged 40 percent to some 477,000.

Deliveries of new light vehicles, including sedans, crossovers, SUVs, multipurpose vehicles and minibuses, rose 8 percent in September to approach 2.1 million, according to CAAM.

Toyota was the best performer among global mass-market brands in China in September. Sales for the Japanese brand shot up 47 percent to nearly 166,000 on demand for products based on its new global architecture, which include the Avalon, Corolla and Levin sedans as well as RAV4 and Wildlander crossovers, according to numbers released by its joint ventures in China.

General Motors’ China deliveries kept recovering. After a 43 percent plunge in the first quarter and a 5.3 percent slide in the second quarter, its local sales gained 12 percent in the third quarter to top 771,400.

There was particular demand for the Cadillac brand, Buick-badged crossovers and SUVs, and no-frill light vehicles marketed under the Wuling brand, the Detroit automaker said last week. GM discloses only quarterly sales numbers.

Demand for luxury vehicles was also running strong. Most luxury brands posted double-digit sales growth for the third quarter. Cadillac deliveries jumped 28 percent to more than 65,000 in the period, while sales of BMW and Mini brands surged 31 percent to top 230,000.

With market recovery exceeding its expectation, CAAM last week revised its forecast and predicted the decline in China’s new-vehicle sales this year will be narrowed to around 4 percent.

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Saurabh Shukla

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