Great Wall Motor Haval brand posted a 61% rise

Great Wall Motor' Haval brand posted a 61% rise

China's new vehicle market rebounded strongly in January 2021, by 29.5% to over 2.51m units from weak year-earlier sales of 1.94m, based on passenger car and commercial vehicle wholesale data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

In January last year the vehicle market declined by 18% to 1.94m units, with sales affected by fewer working days in the month due to the Lunar New Year, which this year falls in February, and as the government began to acknowledge the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic and started to take action.

The vehicle market continued to decline sharply in the early months of 2020 with first half sales plunging by almost 17% to 10.26m units before rebounding to new monthly record highs in the second half of the year. Total sales in 2020 were down by just 1.9% at 25.311m units.

A year after the COVID-19 outbreak was acknowledged by the Chinese government, the vehicle market continued to surpass pre-pandemic levels, driven by pent up demand, last year's significant financial stimulus and local government measures to encourage vehicle purchases - including the lifting of restrictions on the issue of new vehicle licence plates in major cities.

Last month, sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs) jumped by almost 240% to 179,000 units, including 151,000 battery powered electric vehicles.

The association in January said it expected total vehicle sales to rise by just 4% to 26m units in 2021 which may be somewhat conservative given the strength of the recent rebound. It has since cautioned that vehicle production in the next several months could be held back by the worldwide shortage of semiconductors, which has already affected global vehicle manufacturers.

Manufacturer performance

FAW Group sales rose by almost 19%% to 420,458 units in January, including its joint ventures with Volkswagen and Toyota. Sales under its Hongqi brand jumped by 157% to 32,526 units while sales of Jiefang trucks rose by 27% to 79,000. FAW-Volkswagen deliveries rose by almost 28% to 241,587 units, including 140,499 Volkswagen-branded vehicles, 86,888 Audis and 14,200 Jettas.

SAIC Group said its January sales increased by just 0.7% to 403,081 vehicles, with SAIC-Volkswagen sales falling by almost 24% to 86,100 units while SAIC-GM sales up by 3.7% to 130,077 units and SAIC-GM-Wuling sales rose 19% to 93,262 units.

Geely Auto reported its global sales, including Geely and Lynk & Co brand vehicles, rose by 40% to 156,326 units in January, including a 343% jump in exports to 10,031 units.

Great Wall Motor said its sales increased by 73% to 139,012 units last month, with its Haval brand posting a 61% rise to 94,474 units.

GAC Group January deliveries rose by over 23% to 217,333 units, with GAC-Toyota sales up by almost 33% at 89,800 units and GAC Honda sales more than 24% higher at 77,625 units.