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China's auto sales rise 12.5% in October

Hu Yumo
Data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers showed that the world's biggest auto market is continuing to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hu Yumo

China‘s auto sales rose 12.5 percent to 2.57 million vehicles in October from the same month last year, the seventh straight monthly increase as the world's biggest auto market recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last month’s growth was due to government policies to boost consumption, improved consumer confidence, promotional events and the national holiday, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

October's gains follow a 12.8 percent increase in September and a 11.6 percent increase in August.

Association data showed that in the first 10 months, overall sales were down 4.7 percent to 19.69 million units as a result of the pandemic. The first nine months saw sales down 6.9 percent.

It expects sales to further improve by the end of the year, led by the launch of new models and more promotional events such as the annual Singles Day shopping event.

The term “Golden September, Silver October” was coined by industry insiders as they regard these months as the peak season for sales with dealers offering preferential prices in the final months of the year and hosting activities to boost sales.

The association said market demand would remain steady and positive. However, there is still uncertainty in terms of the pandemic overseas and measures needed to prevent risks.

In June, the association predicted that China's auto market would see a drop of 10 percent for the year. It said the slide could deepen to around 20 percent if there was a second wave of infection. Last year, overall sales fell 8.2 percent to 25.77 million vehicles.

Passenger car sales in October reached 2.11 million units, up 9.3 percent from the same month last year. Commercial vehicle sales totaled 464,000 units, a jump of 30.1 percent year on year.

New-energy vehicles continued to be a highlight. 

Sales off new-energy vehicles surged 105 percent year on year to 160,000 units last month, the fourth consecutive month of gains. 

Sales of electric vehicles rose 115.4 percent year on year to 133,000 units while plug-in hybrids added 63.7 percent to 27,000 units.

SAIC Motor, China’s biggest automaker, said its retail sales rose 9.6 percent in October from the same period last year to 597,000 vehicles. Geely, the country’s largest privately owned carmaker, said it sold 140,026 cars last month, up 8 percent compared with a year earlier.

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