China car sales mark first rise in 22 months, but virus to still slam 2020

Newly manufactured cars are seen at a port in Dalian, Liaoning province, China. REUTERS

China’s monthly auto sales rose for the first time in almost two years as the country eased virus-related curbs and reopened for business, but the annual number will likely be slashed by up to 25 percent if the pandemic continues, an industry body cautioned.

The sales data for April and the gloomy outlook underline the challenges being faced by the world’s biggest auto market as it struggles to emerge from a prolonged slump in demand, which was first exacerbated by the trade war with the United States and now by the global health crisis.

Even if China contains the outbreak effectively, its auto sales is expected to drop 15 percent this year, from over 25 million units in 2019, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) said, the country’s largest auto industry association.

In April, China’s auto sales reached 2.07 million units, up 4.4 percent from a year earlier, even as sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs) fell for a tenth month to 72,000 units, CAAM data shows.

NEVs include battery-powered electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.

China’s auto sales sank 79 percent in February and 43 percent in March, pummelled by the virus as strict stay-at-home orders kept buyers away. Monthly sales last rose in June 2018.

“The sales rebound in April fell short of expectations but … will increase in the next two months” due to the release of pent-up demand as lockdown measures are further eased, CAAM official Xu Haidong said.

Employees work on a production line inside a Dongfeng Honda factory after lockdown measures in Wuhan were eased. REUTERS

Mainland China has reported 82,918 coronavirus cases and 4,633 deaths, but new infections since April have been fewer versus the thousands confirmed daily in February, allowing authorities to restart businesses and aiding auto sales.

Volkswagen and Nissan reported positive China sales in April, while General Motors’ China ventures saw double-digit year-on-year growth.

The data supports a growing optimism that China’s auto business is improving, but experts caution the sector is not out of the woods yet and sales could take a bigger hit if the global health crisis deepens and chips away at its exports.

China’s auto exports are expected to drop by 200,000 units this year, from about a million in 2019, as virus erodes global demand, said Chen Shihua, a CAAM official, adding shutdown in overseas plants could disrupt China’s production supply chain. (REUTERS)

Related post

2022 KTM Adventure 390 launched in India

KTM has officially revealed the updates on the Adventure 390. The all-new 2022 Adventure 390 comes with major upgrades to the bodywork and features, such as the addition of two-mode traction control: street mode and off-road mode.

Read More

TVS Ntorq 125 XT launched in India

TVS Motor Company has launched its new scooter–the Ntorq XT–in India. The newly launched scooter is the company’s most expensive model in its Ntorq-125 series. The XT is based on Ntorq’s disc brake variant, but comes loaded with new features and technology. The scooter has been launched in India at a starting price of INR 1.03 lakh.

Read More

Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, and Taigun nominated for the 2022 World Car Awards

The Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, and Volkswagen Taigun have all made it to the 2022 World Car Finals in their respective categories. The Ioniq 5 has been nominated in three different categories, the EV6 in two, and the Taigun in one.

Read More

GWM Haval H6 earns five-star ANCAP safety rating

Great Wall Motor’s (GWM) HAVAL H6 has received high scores in the rigorous Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) crash test,

Read More

Komaki debuts in Nepal with two electric scooters–the Venice and the SE

Komaki Electric Vehicles, the Delhi-based EV maker, has debuted in Nepal with the launch of two electric scooter models: the Venice and the SE. Unity Trading Concern Pvt. Ltd has taken the role of distributing the Komaki Electric vehicles in the country. Design The Venice, a retro-styled scooter, comes with a circular LED headlight, LED […]

Read More

Shadow Top Brand Shadow