China car sales bounce back in April

2020-05-11 Editor : Mo Hong'e ECNS App Download

Vehicle sales in China reached 2.07 million in April, up 4.4 percent from a year earlier, ending 21 months of declines in the world's largest auto market, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers on Monday. 

"China's automotive industry has basically returned to normal," said Chen Shihua, a deputy secretary-general of the organization.

Chen said the recovery is thanks to China's effective efforts in controlling the pandemic and a slew of favorable policies that the government has rolled out.

Yet the recovery is unlikely to recoup the losses of previous months, said the association. Sales in the first four months totaled 5.76 million, a 31.1 percent fall year-on-year. The association estimates that total sales this year will fall by 15 percent to 25 percent from 2019.

Many carmakers saw signs of recovery in April and are confident about the market. Geely sold 105,468 vehicles last month, up 2 percent from the same period last year.

"We are confident in sales performance in May and the second half of the year as we launch new models and resume deliveries that were affected by the coronavirus," said Geely President An Conghui.

China has become one ray for hope for automakers including Volkswagen and GM as the global automotive industry has been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Sino-German joint venture FAW-Volkswagen delivered 165,734 vehicles under the Volkswagen, Audi and Jetta brands, up 9.9 percent year-on-year.

In a Linkedin post on Wednesday, Volkswagen Group China CEO Stephan Woellenstein called China the global role model for renewing vitality in automotive markets, saying it will stabilize the group's business while operations in Europe are still slowly coming back.

He said the number of first-time buyers are growing as people want to avoid public transport these days. Wealthy customers are coming back to the market faster than expected, which has brought about sales growth in the first quarter for Volkswagen's luxury brands Bentley, Audi and Porsche.

"Should the current trend continue, we at Volkswagen Group China can be cautiously optimistic and forecast a yearly result that is not so far away from our original plan," said Woellenstein.

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