China auto sales rise 18 percent in February; local brands decline

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Beijing, China (4E) – Sales of passenger vehicles in China increased 18 percent in February, surpassing analysts’ forecast, as deliveries at Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. climbed.

The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said Monday that wholesale deliveries of cars, multipurpose and sport utility vehicles increased to 1.31 million units in February. The figure compares with the median estimate of five analysts polled by Bloomberg News who called for 1.27 million units.

Car makers from Toyota to Honda Motor Co. continue to rebound from the anti-Japan protests of two years ago, while sales at Ford accelerated at their quickest pace in seven months as foreign brands increased their share in the world’s largest auto market.

The state-based car association has said local car brands will continue to drop in 2014 because they are less competitive in terms of service and quality. Local Chinese brands comprise 38.4 percent of February sales, lower by 4.6 percentage points from a year ago, the association said.

Overall vehicle sales, which includes trucks and buses, surged 18 percent to 1.6 million units in February. Deliveries rose 11 percent to 3.75 million units in the first two months of the year.

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