Spatial patterns of car sales and their socio-economic attributes in China

Daqian Liu, Tek Sheng Kevin LO, Wei Song*, Chunyan Xie

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Using data from the Economic Advisory Center of the State Information Center (SIC), we examined the spatial patterns of car sales in China at the prefectural level in 2012. We first analyzed the spatial distributions of car sales of different kinds of automakers (foreign automakers, Sino-foreign joint automakers, and Chinese automakers), and then identified spatial clusters using the local Moran’s indexes. Location quotient analysis was applied to examine the relative advantage of each type of automaker in the local markets. To explain the variations of car sales across cities, we collected several socioeconomic variables and conducted regression analyses. Further, factor analysis was used to extract independent variables to avoid the problem of multicollinearity. By incorporating a spatial lag or spatial error in the models, we calibrated our spatial regression models to address the spatial dependence problem. The analytical results show that car sales varied significantly across cities in China, and most of the cities with higher car sales were the developed cities. Different automakers exhibit diverse spatial patterns in terms of car sales volume, spatial clusters, and location quotients. The scale and incomes factor were extracted and verified as the two most significant and positive factors that shape the spatial distributions of car sales, and together with the spatial effect, explained most of the variations of car sales across cities.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)684-696
    Number of pages13
    JournalChinese Geographical Science
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Geography, Planning and Development
    • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

    User-Defined Keywords

    • car sales
    • China
    • Location Quotient
    • socio-economic attributes
    • spatial clusters


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