China’s annual auto sales climb for first time since 2017


According to industry figures released on Wednesday, China’s car sales increased for the first time in three years last year. The increase was helped in part by a 1.5-fold increase in sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs).

Overall sales in the world’s largest automobile market increased 3.8 percent year on year in December, according to statistics from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM). The data indicated that monthly sales of 2.79 million cars in December took overall sales for 2021 to 26.28 million.

According to a statement from CAAM, production and sales are likely to be higher in 2022 than they were the previous year due to the possibility that difficulties such as chip shortages and increased raw material costs would be alleviated.

After decades of solid expansion, China’s automobile industry began to collapse in 2018 due to the phase-out of certain tax breaks, a trade dispute between the United States and China, and the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak.

By the middle of 2020, the market had begun to recover. Still, it was hampered by a worldwide scarcity of semiconductors, which were required in everything from brake sensors to power steering to entertainment systems, prompting manufacturers all over the globe to reduce or cease manufacturing.

According to CAAM statistics, vehicle sales in China declined 1.6 percent in December compared to the same month the previous year, marking the eighth straight monthly decline.

However, the sales of NEVs, including battery-powered electric cars, plug-in petrol-electric hybrids, and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, were bright, with a 157.5 percent increase to 3.52 million units in 2021 representing excellent performance.

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In December alone, 531,000 NEVs were sold, indicating a year-on-year increase of 114 percent. The Chinese government has been promoting NEVs intensively in recent years as part of its efforts to reduce air pollution.

CAAM predicted last month that automotive sales would increase by 5.4 percent to 27.5 million this year and that sales of new electric vehicles (NEVs) would increase by 47 percent to five million. Click here to find out more

Government subsidies for new energy vehicles (NEVs), such as electric cars, will be reduced by 30 percent in 2022 and completely phased out by the end of the year, as China believes the industry has matured enough demand to expand without the assistance of the government.

However, although China’s EV sector is seeing rapid expansion, most international automakers have fallen behind their Chinese rivals to build intelligent vehicles appealing to consumers. In the top 10, Tesla (TSLA.O) is the only foreign brand to appear.

On Tuesday, figures from another Chinese auto association revealed that Tesla Inc (TSLA.O), a U.S. electric car manufacturer, sold a record 70,847 vehicles in China in December, setting a new record. Click here to find out more

After selling 70,625 cars last year, Volkswagen admitted that it fell short of its target of selling 80,000 to 100,000 units from its ID battery-electric series. However, the company predicted that sales would more than quadruple this year.


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