May 12, 2020 08:30 PM

Charts of the Day: Chinese Auto Sales Rebound, Ending 21-Month Decline

Chinese auto sales ended a 21-month decline in April, rebounding 4.4% year-on-year to 2.07 million, according to data published Monday by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

Chen Shihua, vice secretary-general of CAAM, attributed the recovery to pent-up demand unleashed by easing of lockdowns across the country, and a relatively low comparison base due to implementation of tighter emission standards in 2019.


More commercial vehicles were sold in April than in any month since 2005, soaring to 534,000, led by a spike in heavy truck sales which rose 61% year-on-year to 191,000.

Sales of passenger cars also steadily recovered to 1.53 million in April, narrowing their year-on-year decline to 2.6% after February’s record low. Joint-venture and overseas brands performed better than local makers, as domestic market share dropped to 34.6%, its lowest level since July 2014.

Electric vehicles, however, saw a 26.5% year-on-year slump in sales to 72,000 last month. Sales of such new-energy vehicles (NEVs) in China total 205,000 for the year through April, down by 43.4%, according to CAAM.


The country has extended state subsidies for NEVs another two years to 2022 in a bid to cushion the blow of coronavirus and provide more time for the industry to stand on its own. CAAM has revised its NEV sales forecast down from 1.3 million to 1 million for the year.

Contact reporter Lu Yutong ( and editor Gavin Cross (

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