New vehicle sales in China are estimated to have risen by almost 15% year on year to 2.08m units in July 2020, based on preliminary data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

The association said the preliminary estimate was based on incomplete data collected by some key vehicle manufacturers in the country, with the full report scheduled to be released next week.

The estimate shows the commercial vehicle segment continued to lead the overall market recovery, with truck and bus sales rebounding by almost 60% compared with the same month of last year, while passenger vehicle sales increased by just 5.3%.

CAAM estimated the vehicle market declined by 12.7% to 12.34m units in the first seven months of the year, reflecting a 43% decline in the first quarter – when large parts of the economy where under lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

SAIC Motor, one of the companies to have reported its July results, saw its sales rise by 4% year on year to 474,581 units in July and by 23% month on month. Its cumulative sales year to date were still down by almost 24% at 2.47m units.

BYD Auto sales were up by just 1.3% at 31,382 units in July but were down by close to 27% at 190,010 units year to date.