NEVs such as the GAC GE3 EV SUV are selling well in China this year

NEVs such as the GAC GE3 EV SUV are selling well in China this year

New vehicle sales in China fell 11.1% to 1.72m units in February from strong year-earlier sales of 1.94m units, according to data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

The decline is attributed to the timing of this year's Lunar New Year, the country's main annual holiday when hundreds of millions of Chinese travel to their hometowns. The week-long holiday fell in February this year compared with January last year.

Sales of new-energy vehicles (NEVs), comprising mainly electric and hybrid vehicles, rose by 95% to 34,420 units last month, driven by tax incentives and rising purchases by government organisations.

In the first two months of the year the mainland Chinese vehicle market was still 1.6% higher at 4.53m units, despite the complete withdrawal of the sales tax discount on small and compact cars (with engines up to 1.6L) at the end of last year.

General Motors and its joint ventures reported a 7.8% sales rise to 265,994 units in February, while Ford's sales were down by almost 30% at 47,483 vehicles – blamed largely on a lack of new products.

Nissan's sales increased by 4.4% to 78,135 units last month, while Honda's sales fell by 5.9% to 77,065 and Toyota's were down by 6.3% at 76,700 units.

Auto market intelligence
from just-auto

• Auto component fitment forecasts
• OEM & tier 1 profiles & factory finder
• Analysis of 30+ auto technologies & more