Passenger car sales in China plummeted by more than a third in April, data from the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) showed on Tuesday.
The figures, showing the biggest monthly drop in more than two years, coincide with the prolonged Covid lockdown in Shanghai and many other cities, which led to the closure of factories and severe impacts on logistics and consumer demand.
Sales plunged by 35.7%, which the CPCA said was the biggest monthly drop since the height of the initial coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan in March 2020, when sales fell 40% year-on-year.
China’s zero-Covid policies have disrupted entire supply chains with analysts at Nomura estimating in mid-April that 45 cities, representing 40% of the country’s GDP, were under full or partial lockdowns.
Production of, and demand for, luxury cars was badly hit, with sales falling 54%, the CPCA said.
Sales of new energy vehicles, in comparison, rose 50.1% year-on-year as customers rushed to place orders, anticipating that automakers may raise prices. BYD in particular saw strong sales, CPCA added.
US electric vehicle maker Tesla produced 10,757 China-made vehicles in April and sold 1,512 of these, the fewest since April 2020 and compared with the 65,814 cars it sold in March this year.
• Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard
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