Photo taken on July 12, 2020, shows the display area of FAW-Volkswagen during the 17th China Changchun International Automobile Expo in Changchun, Northeast China’s Jilin province. [Photo/Xinhua]
China’s auto market has gradually recovered from the coronavirus pandemic with five consecutive months of positive growth.
The market is expecting a better performance in the traditional peak months of September and October periods, according to the country’s leading automotive industry association.
The latest statistics from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, released on Thursday, show that August sales reached 2.19 million units, up 11.6 percent year-on-year and 3.5 percent month-on-month.
Of those sales, 1.76 million were passenger vehicles, up 6 percent from the same month last year.
In the first eight months, China sold 14.55 million vehicles, down 9.7 percent compared with the same period last year. The decline narrowed 3 percentage points compared to the first seven months.
CAAM said the customer confidence boost came after the government launched consumption season activities and promotion events of new energy vehicles in rural areas.
Auto demand was suffering even before China shut down its factories and dealerships in February to fight the coronavirus.
More new models will hit the market at the upcoming Beijing auto show, and travel demands will increase during Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holiday in early October. The traditional “golden September and silver October”, which refers to the period of best market performance each year, will also see strong sales growth, the association estimated.
The new energy vehicle segment achieved encouraging results in August, surging 25.8 percent year-on-year to 109,000 units. For the year to date, sales reached 596,000 units. New energy vehicles include battery-powered electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.
Electric startups, from homegrown Nio and Xpeng to Tesla from the United States, are expanding manufacturing capacities in China, which play an important part in the market.
Xu Haidong, the vice-chief engineer of CAAM, said that Chinese customers are gradually accepting the products of electric startups and the products have promising signs of development in the near future.
Xpeng’s listing last month marked the latest Chinese electric startup’s effort to raise capital in the US, following Li Auto in July and Nio in September 2018, which will help them get a better foothold in fierce competitions in the Chinese market.
The startups achieved strong performances in August. Nio delivered 3,965 units, accounting for an increase of 104.1 percent year-on-year. In the first eight months, Nio has delivered 21,600 electric cars, surpassing its total sales in 2019. Li Auto delivered 2,711 units last month, hitting a new record of its monthly delivery. WM Motor sold 2,057 units last month, surging 143 percent year-on-year.