China vehicle sales are likely to reach 25m units this year, an industry body reportedly said on Friday, as the market continued to lead the global auto industry recovery from lows hit during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Reuters, Fu Bingfeng, executive vice chairman of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), told an annual conference of the association in Beijing that CAAM expected Chinese sales this year of over 20m passenger vehicles and 5m commercial vehicles, including trucks and buses. China sold 25.77 million vehicles last year.

Bai Hua, an official at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, reportedly said China expected to sell over 1.3m new energy vehicles (NEV) this year, up from 1.2m last year.

CAAM also expects Chinese sales to modestly grow next year and hit 30m units in 2025, Fu said, according to Reuters.

Auto sales in China rose 12.6% in November from the same month a year earlier to 2.77m vehicles, the eighth straight monthly rise, CAAM data cited by Reuters showed.

Sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs) surged 105% to 200,000 units, their fifth consecutive month of gain.