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SUV sales drop in 1st 7 months 
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2005-08-19 09:25
China's domestic-made sport utility vehicle (SUV) sales in January-July period this year dropped 2.7 percent year on year though the monthly SUV sales in July surprisingly jumped 44.4 percent, China Youth Daily reported on Thursday.

According to statistics from an information center on national passenger cars market, the total sales volume of 21 domestic SUV producers in July went up to 18,670, while the accumulative total in January-July came to 106,694.

The paper said most home SUV manufacturers' sales continued to fall in July, especially for those outdated types. The statistics showed the total monthly increase was mainly owing to the good selling of new brand SUVs.

In January-July period, the sales volume of two new brands, Tiggo made by Chery Automobile Company in eastern China's Anhui province and Tucson produced by Beijing Hyundai automobile company, went up to 2,747 and 2,152 respectively.

Meanwhile 13,976 Honda CR-V SUVs were sold, the paper reported.During the same period last year only 4,654 Honda CR-V SUVs were sold.

The combined sales of those three SUV brands reached 18,875, accounting for about 18 percent of total sales volume of all home-made SUVs during the period.

Although some insiders believed that luxurious SUVs were more popular among customers than cheap ones, the sales volume of two types of low-price SUVs made by Chery and Great Wall auto companies soared last month when some luxurious SUVs declined.

Figures showed that the sales volume of luxurious SUVs of Nissan and Toyota fell by 8.7 percent and 9.1 percent in July respectively.

The newspaper said the SUV's market share has been shrinking in general, attributing this to the gasoline price hike and the new taxes on car consumption, which is expected to come out soon.

Recently, China National Petroleum Corp. and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., the country's two gasoline giants, are proposing anew markup for gasoline, which is certainly not good news for the sales of SUVs, a kind of gas-guzzlers.

According to the new tax regulation to be promulgated, the consumption tax rate for SUVs will rise to 9 percent from previous5 percent, making the customer's cost of SUVs grow between 2 percent to 15 percent.

Despite the fairly good performance of SUVs in the domestic market in July, SUV's sale is still the most discomforting part among all passenger cars, said Rao Da, director of the information center on national passenger cars market.

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