China's passenger vehicle sales continued robust growth in October because of a low base in the corresponding month last year, while Japanese automakers experienced increased growth following a market dive amid the Diaoyu Islands territorial row.
The country delivered 1,516,051 cars, sport-utility vehicles, multi-purpose vehicles and minivans in October, a surge of 21.6 percent over last year, according to the China Passenger Car Association released on Thursday.
However, the October sales figure was 1.1 percent lower than those in September, statistics showed. In the first 10 months, total sales increased 17.4 percent on an annual basis to 13.7 million vehicles.
"The high growth was not unexpected because the market was well on track as in previous Octobers," said Rao Da, secretary-general of the association. "The 21.6 percent year-on-year growth indicated the recovery of Japanese brand vehicles from last year, when they experienced their most serious decline in at least four years because of Chinese patriotic sentiment against Japanese products over the Diaoyu Islands dispute."
According to Rao, Japanese auto brands' sales in China together boomed 82 percent year-on-year in October. Their deliveries to Chinese customers slumped 40.82 percent year-on-year in September 2012.
"They will continue the recovery in the short term and help China's passenger vehicle sales maintain the momentum," said Rao.
He also said that China's recovering economy this year also helped boost local people's confidence in spending.
"There is still potential in the market because the increase in sales this year was only 50 percent of that in 2010," said Rao.
He predicted a slight month-on-month sales increase in November, which was balanced by a traditional increase in individual purchasing of cars at the year's end and a reduction in sales of MPVs as official vehicles because of the Chinese government's appeal for a conservation-oriented society.