China’s car industry continued steady growth. Passenger car sales rose 10.2 percent year-on- year during the first nine months of 2014, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).
Local government quotas on car purchases, in an effort to control air pollution, impacted sales in some cities. But incentives for buying environmentally friendly vehicles drove sales of hybrids by brands like BYD. Although a relatively small part of the market, CAAM statistics indicate that production of clean energy cars almost tripled during the first nine months of 2014.
Carmakers focused on sales opportunities in lower tier cities without car sales quotas. Brands also cultivated ecommerce channel with sales on Tmall and other shopping websites. And they sold cars abroad, mostly to other Asian countries, although exports softened, according to CAAM. Chinese consumers continued to favor foreign brands. GM sold more cars in China than in the US during the first half of 2014.
The Chinese brand Great Wall experienced strong sales, particularly for its SUVs. Industry sales of SUVs rose by a third year-on-year, CAAM reported. Great Wall’s entrance into the BrandZTM China Top 100 doubled the car brands represented in the ranking from one to two, which accounts for the sharp rise in category brand value.