BUSINESS China leads auto industry recovery as sales top expectations


China leads auto industry recovery as sales top expectations


16:36, December 12, 2020

Visitors seen at a BYD stand during the 2020 Beijing Auto Show, October 2, 2020. (Photo: CFP)

China's vehicle sales are likely to hit 25.3 million units this year, an industry body said on Friday, as the world's biggest vehicle market continued to lead the global auto industry recovery from lows hit during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Xu Haidong, senior official at China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), told an annual conference of the association in Beijing that CAAM expects Chinese sales this year to reach 20.2 million passenger vehicles and 5.1 million commercial vehicles, which include trucks and buses. China sold 25.77 million vehicles last year.

Xu said CAAM's forecast for next year's overall sales is 26.3 million vehicles, up around 4 percent from this year, thanks to supportive government policies and automakers' discounts.

Xu said China expects to sell 1.8 million new energy vehicles (NEV) next year, up from 1.3 million this year and 1.2 million last year. NEVs include battery-powered electric, plug-in petrol-electric hybrid and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.

CAAM also expects Chinese sales to hit 30 million vehicles in 2025.

Auto sales in China rose 12.6 percent in November from the same month a year earlier to 2.77 million vehicles, the eighth straight monthly rise, CAAM data showed.

Global automakers such as Honda and Nissan saw their year-on-year sales in China raise by 22 percent and 5.2 percent, respectively, in November.

Sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs) surged 105 percent to 200,000, their fifth consecutive month of gains. Tesla sold a record 21,604 locally made vehicles in China last month, a 78-percent increase from October, ranking third in NEV sales, following General Motors' China joint venture Wuling and domestic brand BYD.

As the global auto industry is hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, China has become a ray of hope for automakers, including Volkswagen AG and General Motors Co. Global automakers including Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor Co Ltd have forecast higher profits on surging sales in China.

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