Sales touched the 2.53 million (25.3 lakh) unit mark in March 21, up 74.9 percent YoY
As per data from China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), China has emerged well out of the COVID-19 pandemic with the vehicle market showing a 75 percent growth. Sales stood at 2.53 million in March 21 up from sales figures in the same month of the previous year.
This is a staggering number. To put into perspective, in the year 2020, India car sales were at 24.27 lakh. Cars sold in China for March 2021, are more than what India sold in the entire year of 2020.
China Car Sales Near Record High
Taking into account the period January to March 2021, passenger vehicle sales increased 69 percent YoY to 5.09 million putting sales almost back to the position in which they were two years ago. 2018 Q1 saw China car sales at all time high of 5.67 million.
It may be recalled that the COVID-19 pandemic struck the country first in Feb 2020 which also saw total vehicle sales dip by 79 percent. China has emerged out of the red with not only increased vehicle sales but also the country’s economy which has rebounded 18 percent in Q1 FY21. As per estimates, the World Bank expects growth to be well over 8 percent in 2021.
Growth in the Chinese car market was seen across both the passenger and commercial vehicle segments in Q1 FY21. The vehicle segment grew by 76 percent to 6.484 million units while PV sales increased 75 percent to 5.076 million units and CV sales surged 77 percent to 1.408 million units.
New Energy Vehicles
CAAM reports that particular impetus was shown in the case of new energy vehicles (NEV) which includes electric and plug in hybrids. Sales surged 239 percent to 2,26,000 units in March 2021 while Q1 FY21 sales stood at 5,15,000 units up 352 percent following 1,14,000 units sold in the same period of the past year.
NEV makers in the segment saw Nio Inc and Xpeng Inc , along with Tesla Inc, expand their manufacturing capacity in China in a bid to conserve energy, reduce pollution and protect the environment. Tesla sold 35,478 units in March 2021. However, CAAM cites the shortage of semi-conductors would have an adverse impact on auto production in the second quarter of this year.
GM Sales rise 69 percent
General Motors Co. sold 780,000 units during the January-to-March period an increase of 69 percent over sales in the same period of last year. This included a total of 57,400 units of the Cadillac, up 114 percent while Buick sales surged 73 percent to 2,24,700 units. Chevrolet sales also increased substantially by 27 percent to 64,800 units. Sales also included that of Wuling brand with 3,47,100 units sold while Baojun sales stood at 86,200 units.
Ford, BMW, Geeley
Sales of Ford China increased 73.3 percent to 1,53,822 units in Q1 FY21 while BMW and Geeley posted 97 percent and 37 percent sales increase respectively to 2,29,748 units and 1,00,29 units. Mercedes Benz was another automaker to report increased sales across China in Q1 FY 21, a 60 percent increase with 2,22,520 units sold.
Great Wall Motors has also noted a significant increase in sales by 82 percent with 1,10,736 units sold in March 2021 while Q1 FY21 sales stood at 3,38,798 units.