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January 12, 2022

China passenger vehicle sales drop in December but up in 2021

Semiconductor shortages and covid continued to affect sales.

By Graeme Roberts

Sales of passenger vehicles in China declined by 7.1% year on year to 2.1m units in December 2021, according to retail data released by the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA).

The association said sales continued to be held back by semiconductor shortages which has resulted in significant order backlogs, particularly for new energy vehicles.

Recent measures introduced by the government to contain the covid pandemic are affecting consumer sentiment, however, while also disrupting automotive production and chip supply in key cities.

FAW-Toyota is the latest automaker to have been affected by the disruption, with reports emerging it was forced to suspend operations in Tianjin from the beginning of this week after the port city was locked down due to the latest coronavirus outbreak.

The CPCA reported full year passenger vehicle sales rose 4.4% to 20.15m units in 2021, driven by a 170% surge in NEV sales to just under 3m units.

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