Biz / Auto

Automotive sales bouncing back across country

Hu Yumo
China's automobile sales in January jumped 29.5 percent over the same month last year to 2.5 million vehicles.
Hu Yumo

China‘s automobile sales in January jumped 29.5 percent over the same month last year to 2.5 million vehicles, as consumer confidence and the world's biggest auto market recover from the pandemic.

Last month’s growth was largely due to government measures to prevent and control COVID-19, leading to a stable macroeconomic environment, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

The association noted the country’s economy has shifted from a structural to full recovery, which benefits the auto market.

January's gains follow year-on-year increases of 6.4 percent in December and 12.6 percent in November.

The automotive industry has maintained positive development momentum. However, association officials said the sales outlook for the first quarter is uncertain due to difficult COVID-19 situations overseas. The tight supply of microchips will have an impact on domestic and global automobile production for the foreseeable future.

The association's outlook for 2021 is sales in China to increase 4 percent to reach 26.3 million units.

China’s auto market performed better than predicted in 2020 with more than 25 million vehicles sold, down only 1.9 percent from 2019.

Passenger car sales in January reached 2.04 million units, up 26.8 percent from the same month last year. Commercial vehicle sales totaled 458,000 units, 43.1 percent higher than last January.

New-energy vehicles continue to play a more prominent role in the market.

Sales of new-energy vehicles surged almost 240 percent year on year to 179,000 units last month. Sales of electric vehicles jumped almost 288 percent year on year to 151,000 units, while plug-in hybrids rose almost 105 percent to 29,000 units.

Competition among electric automakers in China, such as Tesla, NIO and Xpeng, is intensifying and consumers now have a variety of choices. Companies such as Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz are also becoming bigger players.

SAIC Motor, China’s biggest automaker, said its retail sales rose 0.72 percent in January from the same period last year to slightly more than 400,000 vehicles. Geely, the country’s largest privately-owned car manufacturer, said it sold more than 156,000 cars last month, up 40 percent over last January.

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