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CAAM: China’s January auto sales jump 29.5% on year

China’s sales and output of automobiles jumped by 29.5% and 34.6% respectively on year last month, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) released the latest numbers on February 9, attributing the robust performance to the remaining solid demand for vehicles and at the same time low base numbers for January 2020.

In the first month of 2021, China sold slightly over 2.5 million units, higher than the country’s vehicle output at 2.39 million units, according to the official release. Both the numbers, though, were down 11.6% and 15.9% on month, respectively.

Last month too, China’s auto exports leapt by 73% on year to 119,000 units though these were down 17.6% on month.

CAAM, however, warned of potential uncertainties in the auto sector going forward, including market disruption caused by the pandemic. Also, the supply tightness of computer chips for automotive use “will affect the global automaking sector as well as threatening the stability in China’s auto manufacturing,” it warned.

For January, the association highlighted a few contributors to the robustness of the domestic automobile market. The sales of vehicles for commercial use, for example, on the strong backup of truck sales, surged by 43.1% on year or up 0.5% on month to 458,000 units, and in parallel, output of commercial vehicles went up 44.3% on year but was down 6.1% on month at 478,000 units.

As for trucks, the sales grew 44.3% on year to 422,000 units and output grew 46.4% on year to 443,000 units, according to the CAAM data.

New-energy vehicles (NEVs) among all models and types of vehicles in China performed exceptionally well in January, the data show. NEV sales jumped 238.5% on year to 179,000 units, but they were down 27.8% on month, while output soared by 285.8% on year to 194,000 units, though the volume was lower by 17.8% from December.

Among the NEVs, sales of electric cars grew the fastest, jumping by 287.8% on year to 151,000 units, while the output surged 366.6% on year to 166,000 units, both accounting for around 85% of China’s NEV sales and output respectively, according to the CAAM statistics.

Written by Hongmei Li, li.hongmei@mysteel.com

Edited by Russ McCulloch, russ.mcculloch@mysteel.com