China’s auto sales accelerated in the first two months of this year, led by demand for sport utility vehicles and minivans.
Retail deliveries of passenger vehicles increased by 16 percent to 3.49 million units in January and February, the China Passenger Car Association said on its website on Tuesday. Sales of SUVs and minivans surged 66 percent and 20 percent, respectively.
The first two months of sales data are taken together to rule out the impact of the week-long national Lunar New Year holiday, which falls on different days each year.
The faster pace of growth marks a strong start to a year when sales are forecast by the State-backed China Association of Automobile Manufacturers to increase 8 percent to 21.3 million vehicles.
That compares with the target of about 7 percent economic growth announced by Premier Li Keqiang, the slowest annual expansion for China since 1990.
“According to current market demand, there isn’t a high expectation for growth to exceed projections for the entire year,” said John Luo, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Guosen (HK) Securities Co. “The economy plays a big role.”
Wholesale deliveries of passenger vehicles in January and February climbed 8.7 percent to 3.43 million units, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Vehicle sales rose 4.3 percent to 3.91 million units, the association said.
Read more at China Daily.