(Yicai Global) April 25 -- China's imported car market has stabilized after bottoming out. Its recovery was fueled by growing demand for automobiles in the first quarter.
Some 270,000 cars and automotive chassis were imported in the first quarter, up 28.6 percent year-on-year, recently released General Administration of Customs figures show.
More than 79,000 complete automobiles worth USD3.328 billion were imported in January, per China Automotive Industry Association statistics. The volume and value increased 28.9 and 27.8 percent year-on-year, respectively. The number of units bought into the country was 85,200 in February, up 54.9 percent year-on-year. Their value was USD3.394 billion, a 46.7 percent increase.
Imports of off-road vehicles and station wagons increased month-on-month in February, while sedan imports decreased. Imports for all three automobile types increased year-on-year that month.
Automobile imports totaled 1.041 million last year, down by 3.4 percent year-on-year after a 24.2 percent decrease in 2015. Exchange rates changes and localization by luxury brands contributed to the lull.
Many consumers who are looking to upgrade or add a vehicle are choosing fancier cars and feel they have the money for pricy imported models, a senior manager at an automobile business told Yicai Global yesterday.