Sales in China rose 4.3% to 19.31 million units in 2012
Anti-Japan protests affect Japanese brands; Chinese models lead sales in three vehicle types
The 2012 Chinese auto sales (factory shipment basis: including export, excluding import) remained at 19.31 million units, up 4.3% year-on-year. Although sales of passenger cars grew by 7.1%, those of commercial vehicles were sluggish, down by 5.5%. Compared to the double-digit growth of sales in 2009 and 2010, the 2011 growth rate was also only 2.5%; the market growth has been slowing substantially for the last two years.
Concerning each OEM's vehicle sales by group, SAIC Motor Corporation (SAIC) and BAIC Group (BAIC), and emerging OEMs such as Great Wall Motor and Geely Holding Group (Geely) boosted sales supported by strong exports. The sales share of the top 11 OEMs amounted to about 90% of the entire vehicle sales in China.
As for passenger car sales by brand, Japanese brands, which lost only 0.1 points year-on-year in 2011, lost 2.7 points year-on-year to the share of 16.9%, due partly to anti-Japan demonstrations in August 2012 that were set off by the territorial issue. In the meantime, the market share of other foreign brands, particularly European and the US brands represented by VW and GM grew significantly by 2.1 points year-on-year to 21.7%.
Regarding sales by engine displacement, sales of models with a displacement over 1-lter up to 2.0-liter increased substantially. The market share of MT models has continued to shrink. Concerning sales by vehicle type, Chinese models ranked first in the three vehicle types - minivan, MPV, and SUV.
Regarding import/export of vehicles, exports surpassed the one million-mark for the first time. Emerging OEMs including Chery, Geely, and Lifan Industry (Lifan) contributed substantially to the increased exports. Imports also surpassed 1 million units, up 9.0%, or 93,000 units, year-on-year to more than 1.13 million units as they did in the previous year.
Japanese vehicle sales targets in China revised downward for 2012 (Dec. 2012)
Chinese auto sales estimated to increase to 20.5 million units in 2012 (Mar. 2012)