Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/30/2012 -- Unquestionably the biggest development to hit Hong Kong's auto industry in Q212 was the move by Japan's Nissan Motors, the country's second-largest car manufacturer, to use Hong Kong as a regional headquarters for its luxury Infiniti model. Nissan is seeking to use the city-state as a gateway into the lucrative neighbouring Chinese market and could set a precedent if it enjoys success. The move is certainly a major victory for Hong Kong's auto sector over that of its regional rival Singapore.
BMI is still expecting to see total passenger car sales in Hong Kong grow in 2012 but with growth dipping to 3.92% to 34,668 units. Commercial vehicles, on the other hand, should accelerate to 9.44% (from 4.38%), taking total units to 4,196 and marking the highest volume since 2008, prior to the global economic crisis. Total imports are expected to increase by 5.61% to 36,328 units
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In 2012, we expect Hong Kong's economy to deteriorate markedly, in tandem with our expectations for weaker economic activity, both globally and in China. We have thus revised our real GDP growth forecast down to 2.2% from 3.0% previously. Hong Kong's real GDP growth met our expectations, with a year-on-year (y-o-y) expansion of 3.2% in Q411 taking full-year growth to 5.0%. On a seasonallyadjusted basis however, real GDP growth strengthened from 0.1% quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) to 0.3% from the third quarter. In what is a clear reliance on the city's export sector, a 0.9% q-o-q growth in the good exports helped to mitigate effects of the global downturn that saw growth across private and government consumption and service exports growth either slow or contract.
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