China, Japan Car Sales Take Off, US Way Down

The new regional automotive sales lines are being drawn, with very different outcomes in Asia and the US. Toyota, even despite its recall issues, had the largest increase in its domestic auto sales in 38 years. Chinese automakers also saw sales increase dramatically. This, of course, while sales in the US were slower last month than they’ve been in about three decades.

According to Bloomberg:

“Japan’s sales of cars, trucks and buses rose 47 percent to 290,789 in August from a year earlier, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said. Retail deliveries of passenger cars, multipurpose and sport-utility vehicles in China jumped 59 percent to 977,300, the China Automotive Technology & Research Center said.

“Japanese consumers rushed to take advantage of government subsidies expiring this month, while dealer discounts in China lured buyers in the world’s largest auto market. South Korean auto sales rose 21 percent, and Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., the biggest carmaker in India, reported domestic sales surged 33 percent after economic growth accelerated last quarter…

“…Higher auto sales in Asia in August compare favorably with slumping sales in the U.S. and Europe. In the U.S., auto sales last month probably were the slowest in 28 years as model-year closeout deals failed to entice consumers concerned the economy’s worsening and they may lose their jobs.

“Industrywide deliveries, to be announced tomorrow, may have reached an annualized rate of 11.6 million vehicles last month, according to the average of eight analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. That would be the slowest August since 1982, according to researcher Ward’s AutoInfoBank.”

The rates of car sales could be at least partly influenced by each country’s unemployment rate. The US and Europe are at 9.5 and 10 percent respectively, while Japan marks nearly half, at about 5.2 percent. You can more details in Bloomberg’s coverage of how China and Japan are leading Asia’s an August car-sales surge.


Rocky Vega,
The Daily Reckoning