Vehicle sales rise 3.3%, ending summer drought
Light-vehicle sales in China rose 3.3 percent year on year to 1.75 million vehicles in September, led by strong SUV demand that ended an industrywide downturn for the past three months.
But other segments continued to post steep sale declines. In September, sedan deliveries dropped nearly 11 percent to 951,600 while multipurpose vehicle volume dipped 4.1 percent to 161,300.
Microvan sales plunged 31 percent to 71,800 vehicles.
For the first nine months, China's light-vehicle deliveries rose 2.8 percent from a year earlier to 14.5 million, as strong SUV demand offset sales declines of sedans, MPVs and SUVs.
Sales appear likely to continue growing the rest of the year now that China has halved the purchase tax on vehicles with engines of 1.6 liters or smaller. The tax cut, which took effect on October 1, will expire at the end of 2016.
The directive also forbids local governments from restricting the purchase of electric vehicles and reiterates support for development of electric cars, plug-in hybrids and batteries.
"We will see major sales growth in the October numbers as the impact of tax cut kicks in," said Yale Zhang, a managing director at Autoforesight Shanghai Co. "Car buyers are recovering from a stock rout, psychologically, and starting to buy if they do need a car."