Surging global stock markets slipped back this week as China released surprisingly weak economic data – but one sector of the vast Asian nation’s economy remains strong, Chinese car sales surging 40% for the first two months of 2013 after an unexpectedly weak performance last year.
For some carmakers, Chinese demand appears to be surging as they bring on new products, while for others, it is taking new discounts to help bolster sales.
But industry analysts continue to worry about what may happen as government regulators come under increasing pressure from both the public and a new cadre of Communist Party leaders to tighten environmental regulations in the wake of record pollution levels in the capital Beijing and other parts of the country. As TheDetroitBureau.com recently reported, stricter automotive emission rules – possibly including a press for more battery cars – are being actively considered.
The 40% year-to-date increase in overall Chinese car sales comes despite a drop in February as the Chinese celebrated the Lunar New Year, a week-long holiday during which little or no business is transacted across China.