Global sales of China made vehicles rose 9% to 2.359m units in April 2024 from 2.159m a year earlier, according to passenger car and commercial vehicle wholesale data compiled by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

Growth continued to be driven by strong exports while domestic sales increased at a much slower pace.

GDP was estimated to have grown by a stronger than expected 5.3% year on year in the first quarter of 2024, driven by strong exports and a pickup in retail sales and service sector activity. The government this year stepped up its efforts to stimulate domestic consumption, including reducing down payment requirements on vehicle loans. Last month the Ministry of Commerce began offering a one off subsidy of CNY10,000 (US$1,381) until the end of 2024 to buyers trading in their old vehicles for qualifying new models.

Overall vehicle sales in the first four months of the year rose 10% to 9.079m units from 8.235m in the same period of last year, with domestic sales rising 6% to 7.25m while exports surged 33% to 1.83m.

Global sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs) rose 32% to 2.94m units year to date (YTD), including a 21% rise in exports to 421,000 units. BEV sales rose 12% to 1.81m units in this period while PHEV sales surged by 88% to 1.13 million units.

Overall light vehicle production (for domestic and export markets) in China is forecast by GlobalData to exceed 29m units this year.

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Manufacturer performance

SAIC Motor global sales fell 6% to 1,194,163 vehicles YTD, including an 8% decline in overseas sales to 318,736 units. Overall NEV sales surged 35% to 284,723 units. SAIC-GM-Wuling deliveries increased 16% to 347,009 YTD and SAIC Volkswagen sales were up by 8% at 340,072 units while SAIC-GM reported a 39% drop to 161,165 units.

BYD overall sales increased 23% to 939,508 units YTD, including 138,910 overseas sales. Passenger BEV sales increased 18% to 434,579 units and PHEV volume surged 29% to 388,373 units while commercial vehicle sales fell 39% to 3,062 units.

GAC Group sales fell 24% to 543,0110 units YTD while Great Wall Motor reported an 18% rise to 370,129 units and Geely Auto global sales increased 28% to 986,000 units including 243,325 NEVs.

Tesla shipments from its Shanghai plant fell 7% to 283,000 units YTD with the brand’s retail sales in China down 8% at 164,380 units.