China auto sales drop as Covid-19 outbreaks hurt retail spending

By Yoko Kubota

BEIJING – Car sales in China fell for sixth consecutive month, as sporadic outbreaks of Covid-19 in the world’s largest auto market hit retail, even as shortages of chips and components have faded.

Passenger car sales in November fell 12.7 percent from a year earlier to 1.82 million vehicles, the China Passenger Car Association said on Wednesday. Sales from January to November were up 6.1% from the same period last year, the association said.

Although auto production has recovered, Chinese consumer spending has been weak in recent months amid increasing headwinds against the economy, and the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 could add uncertainties to the economy. market in the coming months, said Cui Dongshu, general secretary of the association.

SAIC Motor Corp. said on Wednesday that its overall November sales were down 6.6% from a year earlier, while sales of its joint venture with Volkswagen AG fell 16.5% and General Motors Co.’s sales fell by 7%. , 9%.

Toyota Motor Corp. said Monday that its sales in China were down 3.1% year-on-year last month, with those of its Lexus brand falling 43.9% due to component shortages. Sales of Honda Motor Co. in China fell 20.2%, while those of Nissan Motor Co. fell 27.0%, the companies said.

In November, sales of new energy vehicles in China, including electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, more than doubled from the previous year to 378,000 vehicles, the association said.

Tesla Inc. sold 52,859 Chinese-made vehicles last month, 40.0 percent of which were exported to other markets, according to the association’s data.

BYD Co. said it sold more than 90,000 new energy vehicles in November. XPeng Inc., Li Auto Inc. and NIO Inc. all delivered more than 10,000 vehicles last month.

–Raffaele Huang contributed to this article.

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