Data released by LMC Automotive suggests that the global light vehicle market “appears to be strengthening once again”.
The UK-based market analysts and forecasters said that the annualised selling rate for September improved to 88.8m units a year, helped by strong sales in North America, an uptick to demand in China and another month of recovery in Western Europe.
LMC said that preliminary data for China indicated that the market picked up slightly, following three months of falling year on year (YoY) sales. Sales in the US and West European are improving though Russia and Brazil are seeing markets struggle against weak economic backdrops.
LMC said that advance data indicates that China’s September selling rate was 23.5m units a year, in September, up marginally from August. This year, the selling rate continued to decline through July, as automakers were attempting to cut inventory at dealerships. However, with inventory returning to more normal levels, deliveries have started to pick up again, LMC said.
Sales in China are expected to surge in the final quarter of this year and over the next year, since the government has temporarily cut the purchase tax on vehicles with engine size 1.6 litres or below. The tax cut went into effect on October 1, 2015 and will expire at the end of 2016. Until recently, this would include almost 70% of the car market, and more may be attracted by the newly favourable tax rate.