It’s Monday morning and just because most Monday mornings are rather dull as the motoring industry recovers from the weekend it’s the perfect time to consider a juicy conspiracy theory that involves millions of ‘missing’ cars … a national government … and lakes of petrol that should be but aren’t.
Thanks to the global financial crisis now, more than ever, analysts are watching vehicle sales around the globe and of course the big news in the global automotive industry is the number of vehicles that have been sold in China. Up until the end of October there had been over 10 million vehicles sold in China this year and that’s a wonderful number if you’re a car maker.
But if you’re a bean counter then you’re going to be a little sceptical of figures like that so you’re going to want to compare those sales figures against other related data just to make sure you’re not making an embarrassing mistake with those numbers. And what better number to compare car sales to than the amount of petrol that’s being consumed in China … after all if car sales are up then so much fuel consumption.
SHOCK!!! HORROR!!! Fuel sales in China have remained flat this year. Instead of seeing a steady rise in the sale of fuel the bean counters were seeing a fairly flat line on their graphs.
Now bean counters are often quite technically challenged so the only simple answer that some of them could come up with to explain this apparent anomally was that the Chinese government must have been buying millions of cars and then stashing them away. Why they might do such a thing and where they might hide them was … well … hard to explain … but then so are most conspiracy theories.
And like many consipiracy theories this one has a very simple explanation. The new vehicles being sold in China these days are far more fuel-efficient than the old ones and as new vehicles are being sold older less fuel-efficient vehicles are being taken off the road.
It seems that more than a few reports were written by excited analysts before the simple answer became obvious.