Chinese Auto Market Grows Fueled by Japanese Automakers

by : Anthony Fontanelle

The global market for automotive products is growing with the increase in demand for automobiles in Asia. While the United States is still the largest auto market in the world, it is experiencing a slump while the Chinese auto market continues to grow. In a recent study conducted by R.L. Polk & Co., they reported that for the first six months of this year, the Chinese auto market has grown by 26 percent.

Based on that figure, R.L. Polk expects that by the end of this year, there will be 4.7 million passenger vehicles registered just for this year. That figure excludes large vehicles like vans and pick up trucks. Since 2004, the Chinese auto market has been growing by about 20 percent every year according to R.L. Polk.

The increasing demand for automotive vehicles in China is being boosted by the presence of the soon-to-be largest automaker in the world Toyota. The Japanese automaker posted the highest increase in sales in China with 72.6 percent for the first six months this year compared to the same period last year. This increasing sale for Toyota in the Chinese auto market boosts its marketability thus making it easier for Toyota to produce the most number of vehicles by the end of this year compared to any other automaker.

Honda, another Japanese automaker and the highest gainer last month among major automakers in the United States, posted the second highest sales increase in China. Honda sold 40.3 percent more passenger vehicles n China for the first half of 2007 compared to 2006. Nissan, the third largest Japanese automaker, posted the third highest sales increase in the Chinese auto market with a 38.9 percent increase. At this rate, not even an can stop Japanese automakers from boosting their sales.

Number four in terms of sales increase in the Chinese auto market is Chinese automaker Chery. The said automaker sold 27.9 percent more passenger vehicles for the first half of 2007 compared to last year. While most major automakers posted increase in their sales in the Chinese auto market, there are also automakers that saw their sales drop for the first six months of the year. Geely, a Chinese automaker, and Hyundai-Kia, Korean automakers, posted year over year sales reduction from January to June of 2007.

"Overall we are seeing significant changes in these rankings when it comes to Chinese automakers," said Stephen Polk, the chairman, president and Chief Executive Officer of R.L. Polk. "We expect this aspect of the Chinese automotive segment to continue to fluctuate as these aggressive companies vie with each other and the rest of the world's automakers for market share within China," he added.

The study found out that Guangdong province posted the highest increase in registrations for the first half of the year. From January to June this year, there have been 37 percent more new vehicle registrations in the province compared to the first half of 2006. The increase in new vehicle sales in Guangdong accounts for 11 percent of all new vehicle registration in the Asian country.