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May sees another increase in vehicle sales

Hu Yumo
Auto sales rise 14.5 percent year on year to 2.19 million vehicles in May marking the second consecutive month of growth following the COVID-19 outbreak. 
Hu Yumo

China’s auto sales rose 14.5 percent year on year to 2.19 million vehicles in May, the second consecutive month of growth after the COVID-19 outbreak, according to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) on Thursday.

This followed a 4.4 percent increase in April and a 43 percent slump in March. The overall decline earlier this year was attributed to macro-economic factors and weak consumer confidence amid the pandemic.

In May, as the COVID-19 situation continued to improve, auto companies accelerated the resumption of production and work, the association said.

The market has seen recovery after a series of favorable policies by the central and local governments, and a return of consumer confidence.

Last month, the association predicted that  annual auto sales could fall by between 15 percent to 25 percent, marking a third consecutive year of contraction. Last year, overall sales fell 8.2 percent to 25.77 million vehicles.

CAAM said China's auto market is expected to recover significantly in the second quarter, but it would be difficult to achieve the same levels as the same period last year.

Among the total auto sales, passenger car sales in China reached 1.67 million, up 7 percent from the same month last year. Commercial vehicles sales totalled 520,000 units last month, a jump of 48 percent year on year.

The growth rate of production and sales of passenger cars has changed from negative to positive. Production and sales of sport-utility vehicles continued to grow while commercial vehicles posted strong growth, driven by trucks.

In May, sales of new-energy vehicles fell for an 11th month to 82,000 units, data from the association showed. Last month, electric vehicles declined 25.1 percent year on year to 64,000 units. Sales of plug-in hybrids dropped 16.1 percent to 18,000 vehicles.

The association said the overseas market had not yet recovered and auto companies should pay attention to changes in the overseas pandemic situation and make appropriate preparations to reduce risks.

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