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China Auto Sales Rise 19% in September on Incentives

China’s August Passenger-Car Sales Growth Accelerates
China’s government also increased the number of cars eligible for a subsidy benefiting fuel-efficient models such as Ford Motor Co.’s Fiesta, seen here. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

Oct. 12 (Bloomberg) -- China’s passenger-car sales to dealerships quickened in September as incentives for buyers boosted purchases.

Wholesale deliveries of passenger cars rose 19.3 percent to 1.21 million, accelerating from 18.7 percent in August, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said in an e-mailed statement today. Deliveries surged 84 percent in September 2009 after government incentives bolstered demand.

Dealers stepped up discounts in China, the world’s largest auto market, after passenger-vehicle sales growth slowed from April amid government efforts to cool the economy. Automakers and dealers provided additional incentives that lured car buyers in September, analysts from J.D. Power & Associates, Samsung Securities Co. and Macquarie Group Ltd. said.

“There is a pickup in buying from the past several months,” Leah Jiang, a Shanghai-based analyst at Macquarie, said in a telephone interview. Dealers “are getting more visitor traffic,” she said.

In August, China’s government increased the number of cars eligible for a subsidy benefiting fuel-efficient models. Buyers of energy-efficient cars will get a rebate of 3,000 yuan ($450) to help cut pollution in China, the world’s biggest polluter.

Cars including Ford Motor Co.’s Fiesta and Hyundai Motor Co.’s Elantra are among those eligible for the subsidy.

Auto sales on the mainland may rise 25 percent to 17 million units this year, Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday, citing the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Mainland China excludes Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.

Surpassing the U.S.

The nation overtook the U.S. as the world’s largest car market last year, with a record 13.6 million vehicles sold, according to figures from China’s State Information Center.

Improving economic conditions and gains in the domestic stock market are also helping buying sentiment, said Marvin Zhu, a senior analyst at researcher J.D. Power & Associates in Shanghai.

China’s economy expanded 10.3 percent from a year earlier in the second quarter. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index has climbed 20 percent from a 15-month low reached on July 5.

Chinese carmaker stocks rose on speculation the outlook for sales has improved. SAIC Motor Corp., China’s largest automaker, climbed 10 percent to 18.95 yuan at the 3 p.m. close on the Shanghai exchange. SAIC said today that nine-month profit may have jumped more than 140 percent from 3.97 billion yuan a year earlier as car purchases increased.

General Motors Co. and Honda Motor Co. are among automakers that have reported September figures. GM, the biggest overseas automaker in China, said yesterday sales in the country increased 15 percent to 208,353 units last month.

Honda’s September sales rose 3 percent from a year earlier to 60,913 units and Nissan Motor Co.’s rose 30 percent to 97,381 units, the Japanese automakers said in separate statements today.

Total vehicle purchases in China, which also include trucks and buses, rose 17 percent to 1.56 million units, the association said.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Liza Lin in Shanghai at Llin15@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kae Inoue at kinoue@bloomberg.net

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