Left with only one month’s reporting to go for 2011 totals, Asia/Pacific’s vehicle sales through November were nearly flat with the first 11 months of 2010.
The most recent monthly results available show flooding in Thailand and slowing demand in China limited vehicle deliveries in Asia/Pacific through November to a 0.2% increase over year-ago. That stands in stark contrast with the region’s 25.9% sales gain through November 2010 and 19.3% growth in the first 11 months of 2009.
Vehicle sales through November 2011 were marred by the tsunami that hit Japan in March and devastating flooding in Thailand that began in the summer and continued through autumn.
Although Thailand accounts for just 2.6% of the region’s sales volume, the disruption by the flooding to vehicle and parts exports from the country weakened inventory levels in the region, which, in turn, hurt sales.
Total vehicle deliveries in November, based on data from markets covering more than 95% of the Asia/Pacific region, numbered 2.756 million units, nearly even with same-month 2010’s 2.757 million.
Year-to-date volume through November reached 28.901 million units, compared with prior-year’s 28.830 million.
The region’s largest market, China, saw vehicle sales in the month dip 2.5% from year-ago, marking its second straight monthly decline. Thailand’s deliveries plunged 67.3%, following a 40.5% drop in October.
Elsewhere, November sales were down 11.2% in South Korea, 5.4% in Taiwan and 0.4% in New Zealand.
However, vehicle deliveries in the month were boosted by a 22.2% gain in Japan, following a 25.2% increase in October, as demand began to pick up following the effects of the earthquake and tsunami that crushed sales and production in the country for a good part of 2011.
India, the Asia/Pacific region’s third-largest market behind China and Japan, saw a 13.9% gain in November vehicle sales compared with year-ago, while Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines all reported small increases.