Donnerstag, 11. Juni 2009

China's Car Market

This article argues that China's booming car market has been slowing down sharply in recent weeks:

"National Passenger Car Association figures show nationwide car production in the first week of June down 19%, year on year, and 13% down over the first week of April. In terminal markets, retail volume in the first week of June was off 25% from the first week of May, and seems to be falling from there."

Observers comment that impressive sales growth during the first five months of this year was mostly caused by government subsidies for small cars, and the effects are beginning to wear off.

It's a bit silly to obsess over short-term data points, but this seems to be another reminder that China's consumption "growth story" is quite fragile: China's consumers are a cautious lot, and in troubled times, they prefer to hold on to their money.

Edit: This article claims that there is a mysterious disconnect between reported car sales and car registrations for cars of one particular brand (only 1/3 of cars reported as "sold" were actually registered and issued with licence plates). Absolute numbers involved are comparatively small, and it might not mean anything for the car market overall. But then again, it might.

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