Less than golden week for auto sales
Date: 2008-10-9

Less than golden week for auto sales

China's auto sales saw only a slight rise during the weeklong National Day holiday, also known as golden week, after having experienced a two-month downturn as a result of rising raw material prices, slumping stock market, soaring consumer price index (CPI), and the deepening US financial crisis.

Over the course of the seven days, auto sales in Beijing saw a one-fold increase year-on-year, said an unnamed source of Beijing Asian Games Village Auto Market to China Business News. The passenger flow at the village was almost 10,000 per day, and the daily sales volume was about 100, according to statistics from the auto market.

This rise is related to major promotion strategies from automakers and auto dealers. Because sellers' hopes are placed on golden week, the vital period of a fourth quarter for achieving 2008 sales goals, they exerted all their strength to boost sales during the holiday.

In Beijing, more than 30 auto dealers have made price reduction between 5,000 yuan ($731) to 50,000 yuan. Vehicles reduced by 10,000 yuan accounted for as much as 60 percent of sales. Moreover, manufacturers launched new models aggressively for golden week, with more than six or seven stylish cars issued a week before the National Day holiday.

Golden week brought more passengers for auto markets in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu and elsewhere. Sales volume in those areas, however, was the same as usual, or worse.

Reports in China Business News also suggest that insiders are not optimistic about brisk sales during the holiday. About 90 percent of car purchasers in the Asian Games Village market were from the neighboring provinces of Beijing, and the policy of editing your own license number did not stimulate demand, said GuoYong, a business information manager at the auto exchange.

Jia Xinguang, an auto analyst, said the National Day holiday mainly benefits the tourism industry. He said sedan cars, as large consumer goods, cost a great deal of money; consumers are rational these days, and so they are not easily tempted by promotional price reduction. He added it will still take a long time for the auto market to recover from the slowdown.

(Source: English Site of Department of Information Technology)