China auto sales seen surpassing US in January
China seems to have overtaken the US in auto sales in Jan. Though the final numbers are yet to be declared, this is a significant change in the auto industry.
The US has always dominated this segment of the industry. But given the current scenario and the market conditions, it is unlikely that the numbers would move in the positives for a few more quarters.
IHT report on the China surge in auto sales
China likely overtook the U.S. in vehicle sales for the first time last month, a trend that could make China into the world’s largest auto market this year.
Official data for China’s auto sales in January will not be out until next week. But they are expected to show sales at about 790,000 units for the month, Zhang Xin, an analyst at Guotai Junan Securities in Beijing, said Wednesday.
In the U.S., meanwhile, auto sales in January tumbled 37 percent to 656,976 vehicles, the lowest monthly level in 26 years.
“This is the first time in history that China has passed the United States in monthly sales,” Mike DiGiovanni, General Motors Corp.’s executive director of global market and industry analysis, said in a conference call late Tuesday.
For all of 2009, DiGiovanni projected that Chinese auto sales are likely to hit 10.7 million vehicles, more than the estimated 9.8 million unit sales in the U.S. this year. Autodata Corp. forecasts 2009 U.S. sales at 9.57 million.