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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/9/2014 (8 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Consumers rush to buy cars before curbs imposed by government

It's a sign of China's growing middle class - in addition to trying to beat the clock before new regulations go into effect. Passenger vehicle sales in China have risen nine percent year-on-year for the month of March. The sudden surge is driven by delayed new model launches ahead of the Beijing auto show. Chinese consumers also want to buy cars before curbs were introduced by the Hangzhou government.

Passenger vehicle sales in China have risen nine percent year-on-year for the month of March.

Passenger vehicle sales in China have risen nine percent year-on-year for the month of March.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/9/2014 (8 months ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: China, auto sales, new regulations, panic buying


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - There were 1,588,792 cars, sport-utility or multi-purpose vehicles and minivans sold in the month of March. Figures from the China Passenger Car Association this week showed sales in the first three months of 2014 increased 9.5 percent to 4.6 million vehicles. This in spite of a weak February owing to the weeklong Spring Festival holiday.

"Passenger vehicle sales dropped a bit in the first week of March," Rao Da, the association's secretary-general says. They "gradually picked up until the boom in the final week when the Hangzhou government announced the purchase restrictions for new vehicles in the city".

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After the government announcement on March 25, more than 70,000 vehicles were ordered in one day in Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province.

"More than 10 cities are expected to launch similar limitations on vehicle purchases because of traffic and environmental considerations soon, so panic buying will add at least 500,000 vehicle sales this year," Rao said.

"This points to high growth in China's passenger vehicle market for the whole year," Rao added.

Rao predicted a similar sales number for April. More than 300 new model vehicles will be unveiled at the Beijing auto show, which will likely offset the impact of there being fewer working days this month.

"For the whole year, the association expects an annual increase of 10 percent in China's overall automobile market and 13 percent in the passenger vehicle sector," Rao said.

"Chinese homegrown automakers will be further challenged not only from a continued declining market share, but also shrinking exports to developing countries," Rao said.

Japanese automaker Nissan said this week that sales in China of its premium Infiniti brand grew 2.53 times in the first quarter, to 6,158 units compared with 2,434 in the same period last year.

Sales in China for US automaker General Motors rose to a record in March.

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