CNBC:中国市场汽车销量下滑的原因是这些……


部分行业观察机构认为,全球最大汽车市场正在经历二十多年来最严重下滑。外国汽车生产商如通用汽车尚能渡过难关,但其他企业如福特汽车等则眼睁睁看着自己在该市场的业绩越来越差。


中国是全球最大汽车市场,据市场研究机构IHS Markit预计,2018年中国市场售出的汽车将达到2800万辆。全球第二大汽车市场美国2018年的汽车销量预计在1700万辆。



中国汽车工业协会表示,今年11月,中国的汽车销量同比下降14%。延续了自7月以来的下跌趋势,但11月份的下滑幅度是今年截至目前最大的。


据报道,中国政府已考虑采取措施改善局面。汽车制造商也在推出计划改进产品线,将更多注意力放到这个巨大的增长机会中。


ZoZoGo是一家专为汽车生厂商在中国开展业务出谋划策的公司。该公司CEO Michael Dunne表示,“这是记忆中第一次持续低迷。上一次中国的汽车销量持平或连续四个月以上下滑还得追溯到1998-1999年的亚洲金融危机期间”。


造成中国汽车销量下滑的因素有多个。


Dunne表示,原因之一是今年中国政府打击部分非常规借贷。过去数年,中国允许较富裕的中国人在不通过传统银行系统的情况下通过P2P借贷的形式借钱给不富裕的人。这种P2P借贷形式让不少中国中产阶级新成员,尤其是二三线城市的新中产,得到信贷。这也使得这部分人成为中国汽车业增长最为迅速的市场力量。


Dunne表示,但自2018年年初起,高达25%的P2P业务被关停。


这使得该行业余下的企业受到了关注,并引发人们担忧它们可能也会受到审查。全行业都变得更加谨慎,而汽车买家从前充裕的现金流如今已经枯竭。


随着中国汽车市场的成熟,市场对于P2P贷款在中国的影响力究竟有多大存在分歧。


市场资讯公司J.D. Power Asia Pacific副总裁兼总经理Jacob George表示,“在新车市场,P2P是一个非常小的融资渠道,仅占零售信贷市场的2.7%。因此,我们不认为P2P对新车市场有重大影响”。


George表示,2018年之前,P2P一直是二手车市场上一个非常重要且不断增长的资金来源,但逐步趋严的监管可能缩小了这个市场。


Dunne表示,造成这种差异的原因可能是,当消费者通过非正式或未经许可的渠道获得贷款时,他们要么把钱拿到经销商那里用现金购买汽车,要么把钱拿到银行获得贷款。因此,在调查中,消费者可能会说,他们使用的是银行贷款,而不是未经许可的渠道。


Dunne表示,造成汽车销量下滑的一个更为重要的影响因素或许是中国消费者较为保守的思维模式。中国经济已经显示出下滑迹象,中美贸易战显然也是此前未经历过的。这造成了很多不确定性,这些不确定性导致中国买家看空情绪比其他国家要强烈得多。


当然,部分品牌的表现要优于同行。


通用汽车报告称,尽管面临严峻的环境,该公司2018年第三季度在华股权收入仍达到创记录的5亿美元。预计全年在中国的收入将达到20亿美元。通用汽车在报告中使用“股权收入”一词是因为它与上海汽车工业集团成立了合资企业。中国要求所在在华经营的外国汽车制造商必须与本土汽车生产商合作。


另一方面,通用汽车部分利润较高的汽车的销量有所上升。今年第三季度,通用汽车旗下豪华车品牌凯迪拉克的销量增长了20%。


福特也陷入困境,因为它没有以足够快的速度推出新产品以跟上不断变化的需求和来自在华经营的众多同行的竞争。但福特最近已采取措施解决其表现不佳的问题。它新任命了一位总裁和CEO专门负责中国区业务,并将福特中国从亚太区中分离出来。到2025年,福特还将再中国推出50款新车。部分产品是专门针对中国二线城市迅速壮大的中产阶层的。


与2017年1-11月同期相比,福特在中国的销量下降了30%以上。11月,销售额同比下降超过50%。不过,值得注意的是,林肯的销售情况有所好转,这得益于中国不断壮大的奢侈品市场。今年11月,林肯在中国的销量同比增长3%,Navigator等旗舰车型的销量同比增长129%。


尽管近期有所下滑,但中国市场汽车销量增长仍有巨大空间。HIS预计到2024年,中国汽车销量将达到3.3千万辆。


The world's largest car market is experiencing what some industry watchers say is its biggest slowdown in two decades. Foreign automakers, such as General Motors have so far been able to weather the storm, but others, such as Ford, have watched their business in the region deteriorate.


China is the world's largest car market, with about 28 million vehicles expected to sell in 2018, according to IHS Markit. That is compared with about 17 million expected in the U.S., the world's second largest car market.


Auto sales in China fell 14 percent in November over the same month in 2017, said the Chinese Association of Automobile Manufacturers. This has continued a general downward trend in the country that began in July, but the November declines are the worst so far this year.


The Chinese government has reportedly considered taking action to reverse course, and automakers are unrolling plans to revamp lineups and devote more attention to one of the last great growth opportunities in the world.


"This is the first sustained downturn in memory," said Michael Dunne, CEO of ZoZoGo, a firm that advises automakers on doing business in China. "We would have to go back to the Asian financial crisis in 1998-1999 to see the last time China had flat or down sales for four months or more in a row."


There are a few factors that have contributed to the slowdown in the region.


One is a crackdown this year by the Chinese government in certain unconventional forms of lending, Dunne said. For several years China permitted a form of peer-to-peer lending that allowed wealthier Chinese to lend money directly to the less wealthy, without going through a traditional banking system. This form of peer-to-peer lending has made a lot of credit available to newly minted members of China's growing middle class, particularly in second- and third-tier cities, which are so named for their smaller size and smaller economies when compared with first-tier cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. This has made this demographic one of the fastest growing markets in China's automotive industry.


But since the beginning of 2018, as many as 25 percent of the businesses facilitating this type of lending have been closed or shut down, Dunne said.


That has put the remaining three quarters on notice, and stoked fears they may be the next to come under scrutiny. Everyone in that business has grown a lot more careful and the cash flows that were formerly so available to this important segment of buyers have dried up.


There is some disagreement over just how influential peer-to-peer lending is in China as the auto market has matured.


"In the new-car market, P2P is a relatively small financing method," to Jacob George, who is vice president and general manager of J.D. Power Asia Pacific. "It is only about 2.7 percent of the retail credit market. Hence, we don't believe that this will have a major effect on the new-car market."


They were a more significant and growing source of funds in the used car market, until 2018, George said, but tighter regulations have likely shrunk the market.


The reason for the discrepancy could be that when consumers secure loans through informal or unlicensed channels, they either take the money to a dealership and pay cash for a vehicle, or take the money to a bank and secure a loan, Dunne said. Thus when surveyed, consumers might be saying they are using loans from banks rather than unlicensed channels.


An even more significant factor influencing the downturn has to do with the mindset of Chinese consumers, Dunne said. China's economy is showing signs of slowing, and the trade war with the United States is something virtually no one in that country has experienced before. This has produced a lot of uncertainty, which leads to a kind of bearishness among Chinese buyers that tends to be much stronger than what one might see in other cultures.


Some brands have fared better than others of course.


General Motors reported record equity income of $500 million in China in the third quarter of 2018, despite the challenging environment. The company is expecting to make $2 billion in the region for the whole of 2018. GM reports its income as "equity income" due to its arrangement with its joint venture partner Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation. In China, all foreign automakers have to partner with local manufacturers.


On the one hand, GM has seen sales of some profitable vehicles rise. Sales at Cadillac, GM's luxury brand, rose 20 percent in the third quarter, with a strong mix of products.


Ford has also struggled because it has not introduced new products at a fast enough pace to keep up with changing demand and competition from the bevy of manufacturers operating in the country. But Ford has recently taken steps to address its less-than-stellar performance. The automaker has appointed a president and CEO just for China alone and separated Ford China from the rest of Ford's Asia-Pacific group. It is also introducing 50 new vehicles by 2025, some of which are directed right at that burgeoning middle class in China's second-tier cities.


Ford's sales in China are down more than 30 percent year-to-date compared with the same January-November period in 2017. In November, sales fell more than 50 percent over the same month last year. However, it is also important to note that Lincoln sales have fared better, taking advantage of the growing luxury market in the country. Lincoln sales were up 3 percent year-to-date in the country in November, with sales of flagship models such as the Navigator up 129 percent over the same month in 2017.


Despite the recent slowdown, there is still plenty of room left for growth in the country. By 2024, IHS expects China auto sales to hit around 33 million units.



Source: CNBC | Translated by Jennifer