Analysts say big year-end incentives will cause sales to peak in December

Article by Anita Panait, on December 11, 2012

Vehicle sales this month are expected to reach the annual peak, as carmakers begin offering last-resort aggressive year-end incentive schemes just to achieve their targets for 2012. According to Sheng Ye, an analyst with industry consultancy Ipsos, December has typically been one of the peak selling months for carmakers. He expects sales growth to be quite solid if consumers continue to seep back to Toyota and Nissan's showrooms like in November.

Japanese carmakers Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co., Honda Motor Co. and Mazda Motor Corp. all posted increased sales in November after logging declines in September and October, when demand for their vehicles dropped following a territorial dispute between Beijing and Tokyo.

Combined, Japanese carmakers posted a 72.2 percent monthly increase in sales in November in China to 170,200 passenger cars. However, the figure represents a 36.1 percent year-on-year drop in sales, according to recent data from the China Association of Automotive Manufacturers (CAAM). By the end of November 2012, all Japanese carmakers held a 16.6 percent share of the Chinese market, lower than the 17 percent market share at the end of October 2012 and 19.4 percent at the end of 2011.

According to CAAM, the auto industry in China, including passenger cars and commercial vehicles, sold around 1.79 million vehicles in November 2012. Vehicle sales in China soared 5.3 percent year-on-year in October 2012. Chen Shihua, director of information department of CAAM, disclosed that sales in the first 11 months of 2012 were at around 17.5 million, up 4 percent from a year earlier. He expects sales to reach around 19 million for the full year 2012.

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