Sales of passenger vehicles in China continued to decline in January 2022, by 4.4% year-on-year to 2.09 million units, according to retail data released by the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA).

The market continued to be affected by the global shortage of semiconductors, which has resulted in significant order backlogs – particularly for new energy vehicles. Strict lockdown measures enforced in some cities to prevent the spread of the Covid Omicron variant also affected sales activity and disrupted some vehicle production operations last month.

The market in January was once again underpinned by strong growth in new energy passenger vehicle sales, which increased by 132% year-on-year to 347,000 units although volumes were down by 27% compared with the previous month. NEV deliveries were brought forward into December ahead of cuts in government subsidies at the beginning of January.

Sales of passenger vehicles in China rose 4.4% to 20.15 million units in 2021, according to data released by the association, driven by a 170% surge in NEV sales to just under three million units.

The Chinese vehicle market ended 2021 on a robust note, as supply issues continued to ease. The December selling rate surged to 27.6 mn units/year, up 2.9% from November, and marked the second highest rate in 2021. 

GlobalData forecasts that the Chinese light vehicle market will rise by 4.5% to 26.6 million units in 2022.

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By GlobalData
China light vehicle market seasonally adjusted annualised selling rate (SAAR)

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