Manufacturing News

April sales advance 13% on SUVs, new models

China's passenger-vehicle sales rose 13 percent in April on rising demand for SUVs and new models.

Wholesale deliveries of cars, multipurpose vehicles and SUVs climbed to 1.4 million units in April, according to the state-backed China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Automakers are adding new models in China on expectation that a growing urban population, which has increased about 4 percent annually over the past two decades, will spur demand for cars.

Demand for passenger vehicles has surged an average of 25 percent annually since 2006, according to Kevin Tynan, an auto analyst for Bloomberg Industries.

SUVs surge
"The strong momentum in small sedan and SUV segments, which have been driving auto sales year-to-date, will continue," Hou Yankun and Ming Xu, UBS AG analysts in Hong Kong, wrote in a note to clients. "Retail pricing remains largely stable for the mass market in April, despite being in the slack season of passenger vehicle consumption."

Total sales of vehicles, including buses and trucks, rose 13 percent to 1.8 million units last month, the association said. Commercial vehicle sales rose 15 percent to 400,300 units in April.

For the first four months of the year, auto sales increased 16 percent to 5.9 million units, the association said.

Sales of SUVs, the fastest-growing segment last year, surged 46 percent last month to 228,000 units. Sedan deliveries gained 10 percent to 977,000 vehicles.

Volkswagen's Lavida was the best-selling sedan last month, while Great Wall Motor Co.'s Haval remained the nation's top-selling SUV.

Biggest increases
Among automakers reporting the biggest sales increase, Ford Motor Co. deliveries gained 37 percent to 75,331 units.

General Motors, China's biggest foreign automaker, posted a 15 percent sales increase last month, helped by record Cadillac sales.

Cadillac sales surged 99 percent to a record 4,077 units, helped by the recently introduced XTS sedan.

GM, vying with Volkswagen AG for the lead among foreign automakers, continued to woo buyers away from Japanese brands.

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