China Auto Sales Plunge, Face First Annual Decline in 30 Years

Industry panics, overcapacity spreads, but government brushes off the wailing and gnashing of teeth, looks to EVs.

New-vehicle sales in China plunged 13.9% in November, compared to a year ago, to 2.55 million units, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) announced today. This was the fifth month in a row of year-over-year drops, and the steepest year-over-year drop since January 2012, which had been caused by the timing of the lunar new year. November brought sales for the first 11 months to 25.4 million new vehicles, a drop of 1.7% from a year ago.

December is historically the strongest month of the year, and the November plunge bodes ill for December. CAAM, which is backed by the Chinese government, has been ratcheting down its forecasts for year-total sales, to keep up with reality. On Tuesday, given the plunge in November, it lowered its sales forecast for 2018 to a drop of 3%.

To put this sales decline for the year 2018 into perspective: This is something that has simply not happened in modern China.

And it’s a total shock to the industry that has only known growth – and mostly at breakneck speeds. Data going back to 1990 show relentless annual sales increases, in many years by the double digits. Over the past 20 years, sales have boomed by a factor of 10. As sales stalled or fell in the US and other developed markets, China was moving from automotive backwater to the globe’s only automotive superpower.

In 2012, China became the largest auto market in the world, trouncing the US. In 2017, new-vehicle sales reached 28.9 million units. By comparison, in the US, new vehicle sales dropped to 17.2 million units, from the record of 17.6 million in 2016. China is not even playing in the same ballpark anymore.

Even during the Financial Crisis, as auto sales were collapsing in the US, China auto sales boomed, powered by massive government incentives. The auto industry has been a big priority for the government. The industry’s job was to turn the highways, bridges, and city streets that the government was massively building at blinding speed into parking lots, and it worked.

In this economy, sales simply could not slow because they weren’t allowed to. And the industry grew up in this steep-growth-forever environment. But now, sales have dropped year-over-year for the past five months – at an ever-sharper rate:

  • July: -4.00%
  • August: -3.8%
  • September: -11.6%
  • October: -11.7%
  • November: -13.9%

There had been warnings. In 2017, new-vehicle sales had grown only 3%, cooling from the blistering growth of 13.7% in 2016, even though sales in both years had been propped up by a cut in the automobile sales tax on smaller cars. And at the beginning of 2018, the sales tax for these vehicles was allowed to revert to is normal level of 10%.

For months, the industry has been clamoring for more stimulus measures, such as a broad cut in the auto sales tax. But the Chinese government appears to have no appetite for them, in terms of gasoline-powered vehicles. All the stimulus focus is on EVs and plug-in hybrids.

The chorus from the government is that automakers have to adapt. It is unhealthy for the industry to depend on government assistance every time sales drop, explained CAAM deputy secretary-general Shi Jianhua. In a truly competitive market, good companies will prosper and bad companies “will be forced to adjust and upgrade,” he said.

“This can help us with the survival of the fittest and improve concentration in the industry,” he said.

At the briefing in Beijing today, CAAM assistant secretary general Xu Haidong put it this way: “We’re currently in a painful period, and this process is really tough.”

The weakness is among consumers, not businesses: Sales of passenger cars plunged 16% year-over-year in November, and are down 2.8% year-to-date. Business are holding up: Sales of commercial vehicles rose 2% in November and 5% for the first 11 months of the year.

Within this historic decline of new-vehicle sales is a booming sector: Sales of EVs and plug-in electric hybrid vehicle surged 37.6% in November compared to a year ago. Year-to-date, sales in this category have skyrocketed 68%, to 1.03 million vehicles, and at this growth rate are on track to reach the government’s target of 2 million sales by 2020. But the category is currently still only 4% of the market.

This is where the government is placing the incentives and subsidies, with some additional help from its muscular policies. For example, all foreign automakers in China must produce EVs in China starting next year.

China’s entire auto industry is built around the theme of endless rapid growth as a given. Numerous plants are being constructed to add capacity, even as overcapacity is already plaguing the industry, just as sales are declining for the first time in recent history. This is a perfect setup for a big shakeout. And the government’s refusal to jump in and save the sector one more time, indicates that it might actually allow that shakeout to happen.

A big shift, at a cost of $3.8 billion – which it now has to borrow. Read…  After Wasting $14 billion on Share-Buybacks, GM Prepares for Carmageddon & Shift to EVs, Cuts Employees, Closes 8 Plants

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  60 comments for “China Auto Sales Plunge, Face First Annual Decline in 30 Years

  1. Marcus
    Dec 11, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    A bit off topic, but after reading Testosterone Pit, and laughing quite a lot, I wonder what Chinese car dealer culture is like. Do they haggle? Or is more like fixed prices?

    • Dec 11, 2018 at 6:17 pm

      Marcus,

      I can’t answer your question, but thank you for the plug, and for getting, reading, and enjoying my book on the car business, “Testosterone Pit,” which is this one (clicking on the image takes you to Amazon, where you can buy it for $2.99 — or for free if you’re a Prime member:

    • Dec 11, 2018 at 11:02 pm

      Chinese are great hagglers on any product you might care to imagine.

      I can’t believe it would be any different on such an important product as an auto.

  2. Nate
    Dec 11, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    Now we know why the Chinese allowed ‘the Donald’ a pyrrhic victory, dropping the import auto tarrif to 15% from 40%…

    • Rowen
      Dec 11, 2018 at 5:52 pm

      Down here in SC, Volvo just announced that it won’t be able to make the 4K jobs it promised in exchange for tax incentives because its moving the S60 production to China. But lo and behold, Volvo won’t be on the hook because it’s claiming the tariffs represent unforeseen governmental action beyond its control.

      BMW is also moving some X5 production to China from its Spartanburg facility.

    • Dec 11, 2018 at 7:26 pm

      Nate,

      Most cars sold by US companies in China are made in China and thus wouldn’t be impacted by the import tariffs. Those tariffs were mostly hitting Tesla (which sells almost nothing in China) and German automakers that export some of their luxury cars to China (some of which are made in the US). From day one, the emphasis by all global automakers has been on manufacturing cars in China.

      But this is a confidence game. And it may well be that consumer confidence is being a little shaken by this trade dispute.

      To a much greater extend, I think this is due to loose lending drying up in China, including peer-to-peer lending, which boomed for a few years, and then imploded, with thousands of P2P lenders getting shut down. This rattled a lot of people, including investors who’d lost money in these deals.

      More importantly, P2P lenders had funded lots of loans to subprime customers that couldn’t get funding from regular banks. With this funding source shut down, subprime customers now have fewer options of getting car loans, and they can no longer buy a new car. This was used to explain the first sales declines in July and August, and it’s probably still responsible for a good portion of the sales decline.

      https://wolfstreet.com/2018/09/09/implosion-of-chinas-p2p-lending-boom-hits-consumer-spending/

      • Nate
        Dec 12, 2018 at 8:12 am

        Very interesting thanks. Still an easy give away for the Chinese then. Seem to me they’ll be taking ‘saving face’ pretty seriously in their negotiations with Trump so am expecting it to be a bit more contentious on the rest.

      • d
        Dec 17, 2018 at 12:41 am

        It is highly probable that the CCP will goose the EV market in china by legislating other types of the roads, first in urban areas.As soon as the manufacturing capacity exists to enable this.

  3. Brad
    Dec 11, 2018 at 4:45 pm

    Back in the 80s/90s Americans were building for car first scoiecty while China was content with Bicycles and walking.

    Fast forward to 2010s, American millennials are ditching cars and suburbs for urban life that allows for walking and bicycling(scooter) to work while China adopts the car lifestyle at breakneck speed.

    Oh the irony!

    • MCH
      Dec 11, 2018 at 9:45 pm

      Remember, we still need to achieve the Chinese dream, 2 cars for every family. We are talking about a nearly a billion cars here. It would be awesome. Then to find a way to provide either a single family home or a townhome to every family.

      That’s right, all of China needs to become a big suburb to be served by Tencent and Alibaba. Left unsaid is the fact that a billion cars will turn China into a giant parking lot where no one can ever get anywhere.

      • sierra7
        Dec 12, 2018 at 11:07 am

        “Remember, we still need to achieve the Chinese dream, 2 cars for every family….”
        And, a “….chicken in every pot!”

        • Coastanoster
          Dec 13, 2018 at 1:28 pm

          As first spoken by Henry IV of France.

  4. RoseBud
    Dec 11, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    There is good data on China’s demographics going back 2000 years. I remember reading a study on Power Growth law, and China’s population was the standard bearer. Auric Time Scale. ‘Population of China as Indicator of World Trends’
    Download it from here
    http://www.soulsofdistortion.nl/ATS.html

  5. Howard Fritz
    Dec 11, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    The Chinese tiger may be a paper one, after all, their economy is based on endless growth forcing them to expand into Africa, and other poor Asian nations. Also many young Chinese are expecting a higher quality of life than their parents. That leads the question as to whether China might do something drastic.

    • BlueinTx
      Dec 11, 2018 at 5:41 pm

      So, in other words, China is like the USA, right?
      Always on the path of economic expansion at any cost. Young people expecting to do better than the Old. Turning poor nations into banana republics serving their “betters”.
      I guess we are good teachers!

      • Howard Fritz
        Dec 11, 2018 at 7:20 pm

        True but they don’t possess the global reserve currency :’]

        • BlueinTx
          Dec 11, 2018 at 10:13 pm

          Yes, but I think they are working on that.
          They set up CIPS-cross border interbank payment system- to counter SWIFT, and set up their own oil futures exchange for the “petroyuan”.
          If their Belt and Road Initiative is truly a win win win for everyone (or at least most) participating, than they are on the right track.
          The same goes for weeding out the weak from the car sector, if that’s what they are doing, which will make their car companies more innovation driven and competitive, all bad for westerners.
          Time will tell how this will work out for everyone involved.

        • Dave Chapman
          Dec 12, 2018 at 3:20 pm

          They are trying to make the RMB globally accepted, sort of like the yen. They are trying to build a transport/ economic zone, called “Belt and Road”, which is intended to produce a US-Navy-Proof way for oil and other vital raw materials to be imported.

          The problems revolve around culture. “A Communist Reserve Currency”? How quaint. I think that either you can be Communist or you can have a reserve currency, but not both.

          As for the Belt and Road, there is a deep internal divide in China about the purpose of this. If they are trying to build a land-based system which allows China to operate in the context of a prolonged shooting war with a major sea power, then economic factors are secondary. If they are trying to use their cash pile to make a good investment, then economic factors are primary. If they are trying to create a situation in which they are helping the neighbors to develop, in the hope that these neighbors will help China the next time there’s a crisis, then political factors rule.

          Nobody seems to be sure what the plan is.

          I therefore doubt that it will work.

    • Rowen
      Dec 11, 2018 at 5:55 pm

      So basically, they want to be the US, with its own Manifest Destiny and global imperialism?

      Can’t sit at the big kids table until they’re willing to overtly use military force for economic expansion.

      • MCH
        Dec 11, 2018 at 9:47 pm

        Yep, the US had its turn, now it’s time for China and the Chinese dream.

        • kevin
          Dec 11, 2018 at 10:42 pm

          More like the “Manifest Hypocrisy” of Americans and the Brits (who too had her turn during the reign of Her Majesty’s Empire colonizing…I mean “civilizing” much of the known world)

          Oh, I forgot the German’s Third Reich also wanted to conquer the world, and then there was the Dutch East India Company stealing…I mean trading resources from everyone, the French Napoleonic wars of conquest, the Holy Roman Empire slave trade and on and on…

          Nothing’s really new under the Sun, and this reminds me of the lyrics for this great song from an 80s pop group – Tears for Fears.
          (God…I feel so old, but hey…their message is just as relevant as ever in 2018.

  6. earl d
    Dec 11, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    Interesting to note that electric vehicles, ~3.5% of sales, are up 81.1% from last year. China has a very aggressive subsidy program for EVs (both consumer and manufacturer).

    I suspect EV adoption is primarily driven by cost both of the vehicle and gas prices. The corollary being that the broader downturn is also being driven by Chinese consumers feeling a pinch in their pocket book and their holding back on new vehicle purchases altogether.

    • earl d
      Dec 11, 2018 at 6:23 pm

      Note, 81.1% being the first 9 months of 2018, so congruent with the sept. increase mentioned in the article.

    • Joe Banks
      Dec 11, 2018 at 9:52 pm

      2017 EVs had a 2.2 percent market share. Not sure about 2018

    • MC01
      Dec 12, 2018 at 4:22 am

      All the top ten manufacturers of batteries for hybrids and EV’s are from East Asia, with Panasonic alone accounting for a massive 45% of worldwide supply, chiefly due to their twenty years long relationship with Toyota.
      However…
      The second manufacturer is AESC (the Automotive Energy Supply Corporation), with a market share of 21%. AESC started its life as a joint venture between Nissan and NEC (Nippon Electric Company) in 2007 but whose controlling stake has just been “sold” to Envision Group, a seemingly cash-laden Chinese group, with Nissan maintaining a 25% stake in AESC.
      My skepticism is due to the fact in 2016 a very similar deal was announced with another Chinese company, GSR Capital, but it fell through after it was discovered the cash they had promised just didn’t exist.

      The Chinese government has been aggressively backing its own EV battery manufacturers, such as BYD, to take away market shares from their Japanese and Korean competitors and the AESC deal coupled with strong incentives for the domestic market fits in that pattern, as do the highly subsidized exports of EV’s and EV components on foreign markets.
      A typical example are tuk-tuk: the new electric ones are “hybrid”s, with the rolling chassis manufactured in Thailand and powerpack manufactured in China and the whole lot assembled locally to get around tariffs. To offer cheaper models lead-acid batteries are still offered, but quality is so poor (due contaminated lead) it’s a classic case of being penny wise but pound foolish.

      For me this is just another round of kicking the can down the road and avoid the massive correction the Chinese economy is marked for.

    • Denise Hartman
      Dec 12, 2018 at 1:04 pm

      Trump must be careful what he wishes for! 0% tariff on car imports from the US works both ways. Chinese Auto/EV imports are coming our way and eliminating all EV incentives will not stop the Chinese or the Germans. The Russians and the Saudi’s will crush our home grown oil with over supply and crushing debt. We will be paying for this administrations lack of vision and anti Obama policies for decades.

  7. curiouscat
    Dec 11, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    Rowe – what you fail to realize is that every country wants to be at the top of the heap. It is the basic pattern throughout history. And they will use whatever resources are available to get there.

  8. Wisdom Seeker
    Dec 11, 2018 at 7:23 pm

    One key question is what level China’s annual demand will settle into as the market matures. China probably overshot their sustainable demand level because autos were “new” (and newly-affordable to many) in the rapidly-developing nation. What happens when China reaches the point where everyone who can afford a car already has one? With a near-steady-state population level, ongoing migration into cities with transit systems, slowing economic growth rate and aging demographics, how many cars/year is the sustainable demand level? That will also depend on how many years a typical auto lasts in China. Also of interest is the back-end of the auto lifecycle: where do the used-but-still-usable cars go? what happens to the wrecks and dead clunkers?

    • char
      Dec 11, 2018 at 8:16 pm

      Normal first world level for car ownership is 1 car per 2 persons so 700 million cars. 20 years average life of a car so 35 million new cars per year. 27 million means that there is still a lot of growth in China.

      • Mch
        Dec 11, 2018 at 9:50 pm

        It also means that we will get the biggest parking lot on the planet at full ownership.

      • Wisdom Seeker
        Dec 12, 2018 at 12:04 am

        But only about 20 percent of Chinese are living anywhere near first world living standards. Perhaps that is why it had only 1 vehicle per 6 persons in 2017 (1).

        The large older generations will probably not move up to auto ownership; learning how to drive is pretty traumatic after age 40 or so. The younger generations will be more auto-oriented, but they are also smaller. While there are 65 million Chinese age 25-29, there are only 38 million age 20-24. The groups with ages 0-4, 5-9, 10-14 and 15-19 are even smaller. (2)

        I think if there was still a lot of pent-up demand and unrealized growth at current income and price levels, sales would not be falling. Future growth will most likely be slower.

        Looking at the younger generations, each year the “auto-savvy” population increases by about 7 million people, or about 3.5 million new owners. The replacement of the existing stock of ~250 million vehicles (every 20 years) adds 12.5 million vehicle sales. That leads to sustainable vehicle sales of 16 million/year as the generational build-out progresses for the next 20 years or so, with annual growth around 200,000 per year.

        • Wisdom Seeker
          Dec 12, 2018 at 12:07 am

          References:

          (1) Vehicle Data from Wikipedia “List of Countries by Vehicles per Capita”

          (2) Demographics Data from Wikipedia “Demographics of China” (population pyramid).

        • JoAnn Leichliter
          Dec 12, 2018 at 3:45 am

          You are probably right, sinc the demographics in China are really not so good, looking forward.

        • char
          Dec 12, 2018 at 5:00 pm

          You can look at the data for Western Europe in the sixties for a good guess what percentage of over 40 will learn to drive a car. I believe that number was high. My guess is that all the data for car ownership/sales would be interesting to compare to China now.

          ps. I believe that the Chinese government has EV fever. Buying an ICE in such a situation is not financially smart.

        • char
          Dec 12, 2018 at 5:14 pm

          China only sold a million cars a year 20 years ago so 1 car per 6 is because jalopies are missing because to few cars were sold.

          Younger generation will be much more urban. I doubt that you will find the car lovers here. Older people will see car ownership as a sign of significant success. They are the buyers

    • 91B20 1st Cav (AUS)
      Dec 12, 2018 at 2:47 pm

      Wolf-is there any background on the used-car market in China? Is the Chinese commoners’ attitude towards used different than their Western brethren? Are there long-term quality issues with Chinese used product, assuming the short takeoff time of the Chinese retail auto market (i.e. something made ten years ago may not be at quality level of current production-or maybe it is?). Are the demand/financing issues just as challenging for used vs. new? Thanks, as always for your site, analysis and insight. Hopefully you’re enjoying your holiday in Japan and your voice is recovering!

      • Juanfo
        Dec 13, 2018 at 2:51 pm

        Can’t answer the rest of the questions but our fleet has one 2012 Greatwall Yaris knockoff. Thing is built like a tank. Insurance write off totaled twice. Quarter million congested dense urban UBER miles with a different driver every couple of months. We give it to the new drivers to learn on. This poor little car runs non stop 24 hours with at best neglected maintenance. Refuses to die. On it’s second engine now only because the first one got hidrolocked. Suspension components all original and the roads down here if they can even be called that are atrocious. The fuel I swear is half dirty water.

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS)
          Dec 13, 2018 at 5:01 pm

          Juanfo-very interesting, thank you!

  9. Dec 11, 2018 at 7:47 pm

    Any idea what’s going on in France? They might need some cars to replace the ones destroyed in the riots, and they still have the Citreon?

    • Dec 11, 2018 at 7:54 pm

      In terms of “Citroën,” they still have it… it’s now part of PSA Peugeot Citroën.

  10. Paulo
    Dec 11, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    re: Chinese automobiles etc

    I investigated buying a Chinese vehicle to replace my 32 year old Toyota pickup. They make a very simple and straightforward jeep-like SUV based on their military product. The US makes a $100,000+ Hummer for their military and the Chinese use a vehicle that looks like a cross between an old GMC Scout and a Suzuki Samurai at a fraction of the price. It is a good, reliable, highly regarded 4X4 people transport without all the bells and whistle crap of North American products that soccer moms like so much and take out 7 year loans to purchase.

    Alas, I have decided to keep the truck. It still works just fine. I have no comprehension as to why people buy all the electronic crap loaded vehicles of today. I just saw a Land Rover commercial with people using their ‘smart’ phones to lower their seats in order to load toys like surfboards. I remember fondly our old ’64 Land Rover (white, of course) that rode like a covered wagon with a roof rack.

    The Chinese might be suffering a few declines and economic setbacks, but their struggles and poverty is in recent memory. They’ll take this in stride, suck it up, and retrench. I’m not sure if the average North American or Northern European worker has the same fortitude. I include myself in that judgement, despite our lifestyle. The Chinese will do just fine, imho.

    I always ask myself this, when folks talk about how the Chinese economy will collapse. How is that China has this for high speed rail, and there is almost no high speed rail in North America?

    “In 2017, China Railway High-speed provides service to 29 of the country’s 33 provincial-level administrative divisions and operates over 25,000 km (16,000 mi)’s passenger tracks in length, accounting for about two-thirds of the world’s high-speed rail tracks in commercial service.[2][3] It is the world’s most extensively used railway service, with 1.713 billion trips delivered in 2017 bringing the total cumulative number of trips to 7 billion.[4][5]
    Wiki

    USA has the Acela Amtrak line, and a few others that reach 125 mph, while Canada is the only G7 country with not one high speed rail line.

    I think the Chinese will be just fine with fewer auto sales.

    • kevin
      Dec 11, 2018 at 11:34 pm

      Paulo, you are on target. The Chinese economy will not collapse as most people secretly long for. I’ve worked in many Asian countries and I can say the folks in Asia are generally hardy people….like the early Irish immigrants. They will do whatever it takes and hardship is engraved into their bones almost like a rite of passage.

      Go read Chinese history more….these people have survived purges, plagues and famines and many historical man-made and natural disasters for thousands of years, and they bounce back relatively quickly.

      Mao’s Cultural revolution left 50 million Chinese dead and those that survived with nothing much except a hole in the ground (much less a functioning grocery market), so you’d think they can’t take a massive correction in their SSE or a “collapse” in their auto markets?

      Its the American millennial crybabies that can’t bear to dirty their hands or their pride and would rather take handouts from Mom and Dad, that can’t function in the new global re-ordering. lol.

      On the same note, there will be a slowdown for sure, given the ongoing trade wars between Trump and Xi. Unfortunately, automobiles will likely be one of the victims of this trade spat. The vast majority of Chinese, however, will revert to the cheaper locally made vehicles if the intercontinentals gets priced out of their reach.

      In other words, sell GM and buy Geely (who owns Volvo btw ;).

    • Juanfo
      Dec 13, 2018 at 2:56 pm

      I recently saw the LR commercial you wrote about. Thought it was absolutely hilarious. Good thing we are immune to AD gimmicks.

  11. LouisDeLaSmart
    Dec 11, 2018 at 9:15 pm

    \\\
    It’s a good question is the decline of car purchasing related to an economic slowdown, an improving interrail network (for details view comment above), a change in spending habits due to economic uncertainty, or the roads are just so crammed that it makes no sense buying one. (I can’t believe that something else but my weight can grow steadily for 30 years!)
    \\\
    The next logical step to accelerate EV sales in China, would be to declare high-income realestate zones into EV only, forcing the higher then average citizen to “be responsible”, boosting the economy while preserving the environment! (Yes the electricity for the battery can come from any source, but at least energy consumption is decoupled from fossil fuels, and gradual shift to solar, wind, nuclear is enabled. Yes, we have enough Lithium, we are looking for extra cobalt.)
    \\\

  12. Dymo
    Dec 12, 2018 at 6:33 am

    I learnt from their leaders ( our leaders ) not to believe any data.

  13. Brad
    Dec 12, 2018 at 11:41 am

    Eventually Chinas population will go into rapid decline due to falling fertility rates and utter absence of immigration.

    America for all its problems is still the #1 destination for the best and brightest talent globally. And this phenomenon will not abate anytime soon.

    So you look at it from a macro view.. US is expected to grow based on migration of talent whereas China is expected to grow based on internal consumption alone.. with no new influx of ideas or talent, everything must be homegrown which is simply not competitive to US’s approach of allowing the best innovators to become Americans.

    Forget about the daily drama on the news.. America is where the future is. China is merely a bulk manufacturer for our innovations. If you disagree , name some innovations and new product categories developed by China….!?

    • char
      Dec 12, 2018 at 6:06 pm

      China still has a big number of poor people in the countryside but if it develops like South Korea and Taiwan than it will have massive immigration.

      Claims that China is expecting to grow based only on internal growth are new to me. What is obvious true is that internal consumption is now more important as a source of growth, but not the only source.

      The wages in China are still to low to pull in talent but wages will increase so the question if talent will follow can only be answered later.

      Quantum encryption is developed in China. Huawei. It also takes a few years between investment in R&D and seeing the end result in the high street. China only started it mass R&D investment drive less than a decade ago

      • Brad
        Dec 12, 2018 at 7:47 pm

        All theoretical statements.

        China will never allow migrants from India or Africa (where populations are soaring) into the fabric of their society.

        This is in stark contrast to the US – inspite of recent nationalistic fervor – US still accommodates more immigrants than any other country worldwide. We get the best and the brightest. The hard workers , the intellects, the risk takers, the dreamers…

        China , and most of Asian countries , are extreme Xenophobes, they absolutely hate immigrants. There is no immigration to speak of. Nor will there ever be as their culture is opposed to it. Meanwhile US will continue to absorb millions of engineers and entrprueuners from India/China/Europe/South America/Africa

        Japan is a preview of China in 2050. They will be in serious decline by then. Their long decline begins in 2030 when their population peaks.. and their workforce begins to shrink rapidly.

        China is in even bigger trouble considering they have 50milliom more men under the age of 35 than women. 50million men that can’t find a girlfriend or wife will stoke a major civil war or regional conflict.

        • Nicko2
          Dec 13, 2018 at 8:02 am

          Japan is allowing, for the first time, 350,000 skilled workers into the country. Their demographic distortions can no longer be ignored.

        • Dec 13, 2018 at 4:34 pm

          The government has buckled to Japan Inc. which is clamoring for cheap labor.

          There are still lots of working-age people not working in Japan, primarily women that have been shunted out of the workforce because they’ve become mothers, and there is societal pressure on mothers to not work, and it’s very hard for them to find jobs. Sure, I know two women with kids and jobs (one is a doctor). So there are always counter-examples. But it’s tough. They will tell you themselves.

          No country discriminates against women like Japan. Mothers don’t count as unemployed. But they could easily be brought into the workforce. But no, it’s better to bring in cheap foreign labor.

          I just spent 10 days in Japan. Their immigration policies so far have served them well! Their anti-women policies have not.

        • Brad
          Dec 13, 2018 at 11:20 am

          Japan has had ethnic Koreans in their workforce for nearly a century and have never allowed them to become first class citizens.. I don’t foresee this cultural attitude changing anytime soon or in our lifetimes

        • char
          Dec 13, 2018 at 1:13 pm

          Korea let in millions of migrants. Singapore, which is Chinese controlled, lets in masses of immigrants. China is already a very multi ethnic country and they already let in African migrants. So claims that China will never allow migrants from India/Africa do seem to me wrong.

          ps. Japan is weird. Probably due to its democratic deficit. Which makes them follow the will of the people more. This leads to the low migrant numbers in Japan. But even those low numbers aren’t that low.

        • char
          Dec 13, 2018 at 1:19 pm

          Japan let in a million or so Japanese Brazilians. Has many Iranians and Nepalese so for the first time depends on your definition of first time.

        • Mike G
          Dec 13, 2018 at 1:22 pm

          Japan is allowing, for the first time, 350,000 skilled workers into the country

          Still a grudging trickle, not a change of anti-immigrant mentality.
          The government allowed in a large-ish cohort of ethnic-Japanese from Brazil a few years ago, only to be dismayed when they were culturally more Brazilian than Japanese.

        • Brad
          Dec 13, 2018 at 2:03 pm

          “Korea let in millions of migrants. Singapore, which is Chinese controlled, lets in masses of immigrants. China is already a very m…”

          Both countries will experience major population declines in the next 30-50 years.. So whatever their immigration policy is it’s clearly insufficient

        • char
          Dec 14, 2018 at 8:04 pm

          Population projections 50 years out are rarely right. and the Brazilians came in the nighties. Not exact a few years ago.

        • TropicalSunset
          Dec 14, 2018 at 8:36 pm

          I’m not sure China, South Korea, or Japan will ever let in multi-racial immigration to the extent US, Canada and western Europe have. People in this thread claim they are, but this is not really true. Japan is still 99% Japanese. South Korea is still 99% Korean. China is 92% Han Chinese and most of that “other” 8% are east Asian people like the Hmong who have been in China for thousands of years, and a western couldn’t even tell from Han. China does have a small minority of muslim Uighur in western China that are <1% of the population. China has a tiny hand full of Africans, and I read a Economist article a while back where they wanted to deport most of them.

          These countries are nothing like the US which is 40% minority, France and Britain are probably at least 20% minority.

          Frankly, I think its just fine if China, Japan and Korea don't want immigrants. There is no question their culture will change forever if a critical mass of immigrants come in. Especially if they are non Asian immigrants. I love Japan, honestly I would hate to see that great culture altered by the tribalism and lack of cohesion mass 3rd world immigration can cause.

        • char
          Dec 16, 2018 at 12:58 pm

          Officially Korea is 96% Korean, not 99%. Unofficially it is anybodies guess. Also 14% of marriages is with a foreigner.

          China has only very recently become wealthy and still has a lot of people who live a third world life and are young so no need to get foreign migrant workers when you get them from other Chinese regions. But the moment that poor regions of China can’t deliver the workforce is fast approaching. I expect them to get foreign labour. China has like Korea an oversupply of men. I expect them to get mail-order brides, they are rich enough for it.

          China, Korea and Japan don’t want immigrants like Germany, France and Sweden didn’t want immigrants. They still got them though.

  14. Weary Patience
    Dec 12, 2018 at 10:52 pm

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/china-auto-sales-go-downhill-for-fifth-month-running-11544520071

    Quote:
    It is unhealthy for the Chinese auto market to depend on official assistance every time sales dip, said Shi Jianhua, the association’s deputy secretary-general. In a truly competitive market, good companies will prosper and bad companies “will be forced to adjust and upgrade,” Mr. Shi said.
    ——
    Now there’s some good thinking! Shame more in the US don’t have that mindset…

  15. raxadian
    Dec 13, 2018 at 8:12 am

    Raise your hand if your saw this coming months ago.

    Of course China ending the “happy days” was gonna affect mote that just the Housing bubble in the US.

    China is facing a crisis since at least the middle of 2017, I am honesty surprised how long it took for their car markwt to be affected.

    I guess we can thank the current US president grudge with China, or it would be maybe be yet another year before the Chinese Car market was forced to face reality.

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