China’s retail passenger car sales in August rose by 8.9pc to 1.703 million units from the prior year, according to the China Passenger Car Association, which is the strongest growth since May 2018. Retail car sales improved by 6.5pc from July. Cumulatively, retail sales in the Jan-Aug period declined by 15.2pc, which is 3.3 percentage points better than the Jan-July period, reflecting a robust recovery in China’s auto sector.
Chinese auto industry was upbeat following new launches during the Chengdu Auto Show. Manufacturers spurred sales in early August through off-season clearance promotions. Floods along the Yangtze River region had slowed sales though car purchases rebound on back-to-school sales. Positive market sentiments, consumer confidence and sustained economic growth also helped sales.
A lower sales base last year due to the implementation of China’s National VI emission norms, recovery of new energy vehicles sales and strong export sales to Europe and America are also improving the sales figures for August.
In August, luxury car retail sales rose by 32pc from the prior year and 3pc from July, with its market share at a record high of 15pc. Improved demand for high-end cars amid steep discounts have aided sales recovery in this market segment. Retail sales of mainstream JV brands rose by 6pc from the prior year as well as from the prior month.
Sales of self-owned brands or local brand continued to remain strong with retail sales up by 4pc from the prior year and up 7pc from July, with a market share of 33pc. Share of Japanese brands was 24.5pc, German brands were at 27pc; American brands 10.2pc.
From Jan-Aug, cumulative retail sales of passenger cars was 11.014mn units, down 15.2pc from the prior year. The sales decline was mostly due to early Chinese New Year and the COVID-19 pandemic factors.
China’s exports of passenger car and CKD sales in August were 50,000 units, down by 3.0pc.
The country produced 1.644mn passenger cars in August, down by 0.2pc from the prior August. Cumulative production from Jan-Aug was 10.793mn, down by 15.9pc with an output decline of 2.04mn.