Factory deliveries of passenger vehicles to dealers in China rose 8% to 2.1 million units last month, and deliveries from dealers to consumers grew 7% to 1.9 million.
It was the sixth consecutive month of year-on-year gains in wholesales and the third month of expanding retail deliveries.
Analysts are optimistic that China’s rebound indicates similar good news for markets in the U.S. and Europe—at least when they get their coronavirus pandemics under control.
But even China’s year-to-date volumes remain well below last year because of market disruptions caused by the health crisis. Analysts doubt that the Chinese market will match last year’s total of 25.8 million vehicles until 2022.
Wholesales through September totaled 13.4 million units, down 12%, according to the China Assn. of Automobile Manufacturers.
The upturn in wholesales shows that dealers are bullish about consumer demand. September normally is a strong retail sales month, so stronger orders for more cars last month show that dealers also are optimistic about consumer demand in October.
Electrified vehicles showed exceptional growth in September, continuing a spurt that began in July. Wholesales zoomed more than two-thirds to 138,000 units last month. CAAM says the total comprised 138,000 all-electric models and about 26,000 plug-in hybrids.
Wholesales of EVs and plug-ins through the first nine months of 2020 totaled 734,000 units, down 18% compared with the same period last year. Results consisted of about 579,000 EVs and 154,000 hybrids.
China has put together enough months of strong growth in car sales to prove its market is on the mend.
There are fundamental differences between the world’s largest car market and all others. But carmakers everywhere are encouraged by what they’re seeing in China.
It’s the fifth generation of a vehicle that has been increasing in sales year after year since its introduction in 1997.
For conducting business in the U.S. market, Toyota has historically had several separate business entities: a sales and distribution company headquartered in California (Toyota Motor Sales, USA); manufacturing operations (Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America); a racing subsidiary (Toyota Racing Development, USA); the Toyota Technical Center for R&D in Ann Arbor; and a design facility in California (Calty Design Research, Inc.). On April 1, 2006, Toyota merged its R&D operations and its manufacturing operations into a single company.
The common wisdom seems to be that midsize cars have pretty much had it in the U.S. new car market.