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Japanese cars boost Nov auto sales in China

2013-12-11 10:45 Global Times Web Editor: qindexing

Over 2 million vehicles were sold in China in November, up 14.12 percent year-on-year, with Japanese car sales continuing to rise, according to data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) Tuesday.

SAIC Motor Corp Ltd sold 432,100 cars in China in November, ranking at the top of automakers. Dongfeng Motor Group Co Ltd ranked as se-cond with 354,400 cars sold. China FAW Group Corp was third with 273,900 cars sold last month, according to the CAAM.

From January to November, the first 10 firms on the sales list sold 88.5 percent of all cars sold in that period, said Yao Jie, the CAAM spokesperson, who also noted that the auto industry has experienced a stronger concentration trend.

In the passenger vehicle market, Japanese auto brands saw 325,400 cars sold in November, 91.2 percent up year-on-year - a growth rate higher than all other foreign brands, according to the CAAM.

The sales of Japanese auto brands continued to increase from January to November, Yao said, noting that the market share rose from 13 percent in January to 19.18 percent in November.

"We hope that Japanese brands will not be influenced by political factors again because they made investments in China and cooperate with Chinese companies," Dong Yang, general-secretary of CAAM, told the Global Times Tuesday.

But this impact still exists, Dong said, noting the market share of Japanese brands in China has not recovered to its highest level before Japan's announcement to "nationalize" the Diaoyu Islands in 2012.

Japanese brands performed well in October and November this year, partly due to more efforts on product promotion, Dong said.

Japanese brands have always had a bigger market share than German brands in China until the Diaoyu Islands dispute intensified, said Zhang Zhiyong, an independent auto industry expert.

In recent years, Japanese auto makers have had a hard time, including Toyota's global mass recall in 2010, an earthquake-triggered tsunami in 2011, and the Diaoyu Islands dispute in 2012, Zhang said, noting in such conditions, a fall in market share cannot be avoided.

But from this year, Japanese brands have started to put more emphasis on the Chinese market, Zhang said, noting they have introduced more new cars on the Chinese market and developed new approaches to advertising such as paying for their cars to be used as product placement in popular Chinese soap dramas.

Unlike Japanese brands, Chinese brands had a mediocre performance in November. A total of 686,400 passenger cars of Chinese brands were sold in November, 7.49 percent up year-on-year, but its market share of 40.5 percent is lower than the 43.3 percent in January.

The declining of Chinese brands' market share is a normal result of the reorganizing process Chinese brands are going through, Zhang said, noting the strong ones will stay while the weak ones will die out or be acquired.

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