Vehicle sales growth in China’s West is slowing, raising concerns among global brands that considered the region a fast growing part of the world’s biggest car market, the Wall Street Journal reported.
First-quarter sales across 12 western provinces grew about 12 percent from a year earlier to 1.2 million vehicles, compared with a 15 percent rise over the same period for the whole country, according to an analysis of new-car registration data by Chinese automotive research firm Ways Consulting Co.
This is worrying for international carmakers because they see the country’s western region as having more potential for growth than other more affluent coastal cities, where the market is becoming saturated, the newspaper said.
The situation is worse for luxury car sales.
Registrations of new Mercedes-Benz vehicles in the western province of Sichuan fell 6.9 percent in the first quarter to 3,944 cars, compared with a 50 percent growth in the same period a year earlier, Ways data showed.
Registration for BMW cars fell 9.1 percent to 5,450 cars, compared with a 36 percent increase in 2014.
According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, new passenger car sales grew only 1.2 percent in May from a year earlier to 1.6 million vehicles—the weakest expansion since February 2013.
The results were based on vehicles shipped to dealers rather than sales to consumers, the report said.
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