China's auto market posted a tepid sales growth in the first quarter, but new-energy cars bucked the trend by doubling their deliveries, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said yesterday.
Amid China’s cooling economy and consolidation in the auto market, sales of passenger cars and commercial vehicles in the first three months of 2015 grew 3.9 percent year on year to 6.15 million units, down 5.3 percentage points from the growth rate in the same period of last year.
Sales of passenger cars, which include sedans, sport-utility vehicles and multi-purpose vehicles, grew steadily at 9 percent to 5.3 million units in the first quarter. This was due to a 48.8 percent jump in sales of SUVs. Sedans, however, saw sales fall by 0.4 percent.
The combined deliveries of new-energy cars, however, rose 2.8 times to 26,581 units during the January-March period. Electrifying the market were purely electric vehicles which surged 3.7 times to 15,405 units and plug-in hybrids which soared 2.1 times to 11,176 units.
Electric vehicles may drive further into China’s auto market following a new directive by the Ministry of Transport last month that sought to deploy 200,000 new-energy buses for cities and 100,000 new-energy taxis and logistics vehicles before 2020.
Beijing, Tianjian and Hebei Province have required that 35 percent of new buses, taxis and logistics vehicles be converted to electricity-driven mode.
In addition, China’s new-energy vehicle production in the first three months of this year jumped threefolds year on year to 25,400 vehicles, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said yesterday.
The production of pure electric passenger cars surged 400 percent from a year earlier to 11,000 cars, with plug-in hybrid passenger vehicles soaring nearly 500 percent to 7,257 units in the first quarter.