New Vehicle Sales Soar in China

With the third quarter of 2013 complete, car sale statistics reveal that Ford Motor Company is gaining ground in China. With sales of 647,849 vehicles in the first nine months of the year – a 51 percent increase – it is anticipated that the American automaker will sell in excess of 900,000 vehicles by the end of 2013. There is also the strong likelihood that Ford will sell more vehicles than Toyota and Honda, both of which reportedly lost market share due to anti-Japanese sentiment among consumers sparked by a dispute over territory around a year ago. Other foreign motor vehicle brands that are strong in China include South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Company, Germany’s Volkswagen AG, Japan’s Nissan and America’s General Motors Company.

Toyota has reported that its car sales in China rose 63 percent in September, compared with the same period in 2012, but conceded that this was off a low base caused by consumers spurning Japanese products in 2012. Honda reported a 50 percent increase over last year, with Nissan reporting an 83.4 percent growth – also off a low base.

The incident that triggered the anti-Japanese sentiment in China was a dispute over a group of uninhabited islands known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan, the Diaoyu Islands in China, and the Tiaoyutai Islands in Taiwan – all three of which claim ownership of the islands. The matter remains unresolved.

In luxury vehicle sales, Volvo experienced a 48.6 percent increase in sales in September 2013 compared with the previous year. With sales of 5,719 vehicles in September, China is Volvo’s second biggest market after the United States. Year-to-date sales for Volvo are 43,380 vehicles, representing a 41.3 percent increase compared with the same period last year. Volvo will be unveiling it new S60L model at the Guangzhou Auto Show next month.

Italian automaker Lamborghini has not been as fortunate. Due to a campaign by China’s government to stop lavish spending among officials, the iconic luxury car has had a slump in sales. Nonetheless, it continues to garner sales in what has become the world’s largest car market in recent years.