August vehicle sales drop 40% m/m in Beijing

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Shanghai, September 23, 2008 ( Beijing's auto market suffered a big slump in August when only 45,000 new and second-hand vehicles were sold, down nearly 40% month on month, reported Beijing Morning Post today. Usually the last four months of a year are the peak sales season in the car market, but this year the sluggish market is hard to change for the better.

Statistics show that last month Beijing had 28,000 new vehicles registered for the license, down 45% from July and down 21% from one year earlier; the license registration of 17,000 second-hand vehicles represented a decrease of 49% month on month, and a drop of 40% year on year.

The car sales in Beijing are often seen as the barometer of China's auto market performance. In August, the country's auto sales saw the first month-on-month and year-on-year drop in recent four years. The three car giants Shanghai VW, FAW VW and Shanghai GM had their August sales down by 8%-17%.

Industry analysts said that China¡¯s auto market slump is likely to continue until the end of the year and the auto sales will grow by a single digit at most. It is impossible for the country's auto sales in 2008 to fulfill the earlier forecast of 10 million units.

"The Chinese auto market in 2008 seems very similar to that of 2004 in many aspects, and the constant change of the car market has made a strong negative impact on car manufacturers," said sales executive from a car-making joint venture in China.

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