October 9, 2007


China’s vehicle market grew 26 percent in first half of 2007 – R.L. Polk

Southfield, Michigan – The passenger vehicle market in China grew 26 percent in the first half of 2007 according to data released by R. L. Polk & Co. Excluding vans and pick-up trucks, Polk forecasts an annual total registration volume of 4.7 million passenger vehicles by the end of 2007. The market’s annual growth rate has been above 20 percent since 2004.

Toyota showed the highest growth in China with a 72.6 percent increase in vehicle registrations year-over-year (YOY). Honda and Nissan came in second and third showing 40.3 percent and 38.9 percent growth respectively while Chery followed in fourth position at 27.9 percent. Geely and Hyundai-Kia were the only major manufacturers that experienced a YOY decrease in registrations.

Among Chinese automakers, Chery takes the leading position followed by FAW-Tianjin and Geely. While these three companies maintain their top ranking positions over the last three years, Changan Auto, which ranked 31st in 2006 has ascended into the top ten in 2007.

“Overall we are seeing significant changes in these rankings when it comes to Chinese automakers,” said Stephen Polk, chairman, president and CEO, for R. L. Polk & Co. “We expect this aspect of the Chinese automotive segment to continue to fluctuate as these aggressive companies vie with each other and the rest of the world’s automakers for market share within China.”

According to Polk, the majority of passenger vehicle registrations occur in the wealthy coastal regions of China. Guangdong province accounts for 11 percent of all registrations in the first half of 2007. In addition, Guangdong grew at an impressive rate of 37 percent YOY. Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces follow as second and third strongest with growth of 27 percent and 9 percent respectively. Together these three provinces account for 29 percent of all national registrations in 2007.

Conversely, China’s weakest provinces with less than five percent of the country’s total vehicle registrations, Tibet, Qinghai and Hainan, experienced the greatest YOY growth of 69 percent, 46 percent and 22 percent respectively.

The Chinese market is dominated by medium sized vehicles that experienced a growth in market share from 34.1 percent in the first quarter of 2004 to 47.5 percent in the second quarter of 2007. In addition, the shares of small vehicles and larger vehicles decreased in the same period from 28.8 percent to 19.3 percent and 9.3 percent to 6.1 percent respectively.

“Polk has analyzed the price development of passenger vehicles in different body sizes and learned that the average price of medium sized vehicles has continuously decreased over the last three and a half years,” said Stephen Polk. “As a result, this segment has grown as Chinese buyers have responded by purchasing more of these vehicles.”

Connect with Autos.ca