Updated: 2013-06-17 (China Daily) -
Surge as passenger vehicle sales in May hit 1.34 million units
China's passenger vehicle sales in May maintained double-digit growth over a year earlier partly due to continued momentum from the Shanghai Auto Show in April.
According to industry data, sales of cars, sports utility vehicles, multi-purpose vehicles and minivans totaled about 1.34 million units in May, a year-on-year increase of 13.4 percent.
"The sales growth in May should be partly attributed to the Shanghai Auto Show that brought hundreds of new models to attract consumers," said Rao Da, secretary-general of the China Passenger Car Association.
"Such high growth gives the industry a shot of confidence for the second half."
But he predicted a month-on-month sales decline in June because of the three-day Dragon Boat holiday.
If commercial vehicles are included, the total number of vehicles sold in China from January to May surpassed 9 million, a year-on-year increase of 12.6 percent, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
The association said the number in the first half "is sure to exceed 10 million units".
Rao from the CPCA forecasts that "overall automobile sales in 2013 will reach 21.3 million units as the new government leaders are not likely to issue any measures to curb vehicle sales this year."
Although the overall market is growing, domestic carmakers have found themselves outperformed by most of their foreign counterparts.
CAAM statistics show that about 3 million domestic brand passenger vehicles were sold in the first five months, an increase of 14.5 percent from a year ago.
Yet brands from Germany, the US, France and South Korea all reported growth of more than 20 percent in the period, said the association.
Domestic brands accounted for 41.8 percent of total passenger vehicles sales from January through May, a market share of a percentage point lower than a year earlier.
Japanese brand passenger vehicles still suffered in the aftermath of the diplomatic dispute over the Diaoyu Islands that began last September as sales dropped 11.5 percent in the first five months .
But they regained some market share in May as sales recovered. Nissan Motor Co reported a 2 percent year-on-year increase last month, while Honda Motor Co's deliveries grew by 4.6 percent.
Toyota Motor Co also saw sales edge up 0.3 percent compared with May last year.
According to CAAM data, the SUV segment remains the fastest growing with a surge of more than 40 percent in the first five months of the year.
With several new SUV models hitting the market this year, Ford Motor Co saw sales jump 48 percent in the first five months to 332,467 units. It delivered 70,540 vehicles to Chinese buyers in May, a 45 percents increase over the same month last year.
General Motors and its joint ventures reported record May sales of 252,942 vehicles in China, an increase of 9.4 percent from the same month last year. Shanghai GM, SAIC-GM-Wuling and all of their brands had all-time sales highs for the month.
In the first five months, GM's sales in China rose by 10.6 percent to 1.33 million vehicles.