Two of China’s top electric carmakers reported significant year-on-year sales drops last month, as consumers put spending on hold after Beijing scaled back subsidies in mid-2019 and the Covid-19 outbreak also dampened spending.
In March, BAIC BJEV sold 5,992 new energy vehicles (NEVs), representing a year-on-year decline of 66.1%. Rival carmaker BYD also released gloomy figures for the month, selling 12,256 NEVs, down by nearly 60% compared to the same period of last year.
Total NEV sales by manufacturers to dealers in China dropped 49.2% year-on-year to 56,000 units in March, according to statistics released by the China Passenger Car Association.
However, there are some signs of hope. While March year-on-year sales fell for the two companies, the figures were up significantly compared to February, when the coronavirus pandemic crippled production of many carmakers in China. In February, BAIC BJEV and BYD shipped just 1,002 and 2,803 NEVs, respectively.
The effect of the plummeting sales has spilled over to China’s vehicle battery producers including leader Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL), which has projected that its first-quarter net profits will drop by 20% to 30% year-on-year thanks to the coronavirus and sluggish NEV sales.
Contact reporter Ding Yi (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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