For the first time in at least 14 years, China’s auto sales growth trailed America’s after China’s government ended stimulus measures and their economic expansion started plateauing.
Total vehicle sales in China rose 2.5-percent to 18.5-million, compared with the 3-percent median estimate from five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Even though the country remains the world’s biggest vehicle market for the third straight year, its delivery growth slowed from the 32-percent in 2010.
China’s auto sales growth won’t reach anywhere near the past couple of years as it scales back to a more sustainable pace,” said Jenny Gu, an analyst at industry researcher LMC Automotive in Shanghai. “The past few years were boosted by government incentives.”
Passenger-car deliveries rose 5.2-percent, a drastic decrease from the 33-percent growth seen in 2010. Sales growth in China had outpaced the US every year prior to 2011 according to data stretching back to 1998. US light-vehicle sales climbed 10-percent in 2011.
It’s estimated that growth in passenger-vehicle demand in China will accelerate this year to about 9.5-percent with vehicle exports projected to rise 25- to 30-percent to as much as 1.1-million units.