China’s vehicle market up 12% YOY in May
Last month, roughly 2.14 million new vehicles were delivered across China, a number that’s 12% higher than the same month last year.
After 21 months of decline, this marks the second consecutive month of growth, after the 4.4% increase in April, according to numbers released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
From January to early March, when the country was in the throes of the coronavirus, new-vehicle deliveries crashed by 42%.
CAAM warned that even if China contains the coronavirus outbreak effectively, car sales are expected to drop 15% this year — an drop that will be even stronger if the pandemic continues.
David Leggett, Automotive Analyst at GlobalData, a data and analytics company, predicts a fall of 17.6% on 2019. Nevertheless, he sees reasons for optimism:
“The COVID-19 crisis has brought an unprecedented and sudden loss of global vehicle sales. However, May’s market rise over year-ago levels in China is very welcome to the auto industry, both inside and outside China.”
He continues: “China was first into the COVID-19 crisis and first out of it, so developments in China’s economy are being watched very closely. Hence, a return to growth in the world’s largest vehicle market will boost confidence in the auto industry.”
A return to vehicle market growth in China could indeed prove to be a portent of what should happen in other markets as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides later this year.