Behind China’s Rising Auto Sales in August


Sep. 14 2017, Published 12:01 p.m. ET

China’s August 2017 auto sales

According to the latest data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, auto sales (XLY) in China in August 2017 stood at ~2.19 million vehicle units. This was about 5.3% higher than the 2.07 million vehicle units sold in August 2016. By contrast, total US auto sales in August fell ~1.9% YoY (year-over-year) to 1.51 million vehicle units.

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Stronger passenger and commercial vehicle sales

In August 2017, both passenger car sales and commercial vehicle sales continued to grow positively in China. But August passenger car sales fell a sharp 8.5% YoY in the US to 0.54 million units, while truck sales rose 2.4% YoY.

In the past few years, US truck sales have gone up compared with small car sales in the country. Despite weak small car sales, stronger August truck sales could keep optimism alive among auto investors.

In 2017 so far, total Chinese vehicle sales have risen 4.3% to 17.51 million units, while US auto sales have fallen 2.7% YoY to 11.35 million vehicle units.

Remember, China is the largest single auto market in the world. In the last few years, mainstream automakers such as Ford Motor (F), Toyota Motor (TM), General Motors (GM), and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU) have increased their focus on the Chinese market.

Series overview

In this series, we’ll explore China’s August 2017 sales figures for the top two US automakers, GM and Ford, and assess what these sales numbers could mean for these companies’ future growth prospects. We’ll also discuss Fiat Chrysler’s August sales in Italy, its home market.

In the next part, we’ll begin by looking at Ford’s August 2017 Chinese sales data.


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