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Vehicle sales rise by 12.8% in September

Hu Yumo
China Association of Automobile Manufacturers notes sixth consecutive month of growth due to government policies, improving consumer confidence and promotional events.
Hu Yumo

China's auto sales rose 12.8 percent year on year to 2.57 million vehicles in September, the sixth consecutive month of growth, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said on Tuesday.

Last month’s growth was due to government policies to boost consumption, improved consumer confidence and promotional events such as the Beijing auto show, according to Chen Shihua, deputy secretary general of the association. September's gains follow an 11.6 percent increase in August and a 16.7 percent increase in July. 

In the first nine months, however, overall sales were down 6.9 percent to 17.12 million units as a result of the pandemic, data from the association shows. The situation is improving as the first eight months saw sales down 9.7 percent.

The association expects car sales to further improve in the coming months, led by launch of new models and more promotional events. 

The term “Golden September, Silver October” has been coined by industry insiders as they regard these two months as peak season for sales. Car dealers offer preferential prices in the final months of the year and host activities to boost sales.

In June, the association predicted that China's auto market would see a drop of 10 percent for the year. It said the slide could deepen to around 20 percent if there was a second wave of infection. Last year, overall sales fell 8.2 percent to 25.77 million vehicles.

Passenger car sales in September reached 2.08 million units, up 8 percent from the same month last year. Commercial vehicle sales totaled 477,000 units, a jump of 40.3 percent year on year.

New-energy vehicles continued to be a highlight. Sales surged 67.7 percent year on year to 138,000 units last month, the third consecutive month of gains. The association said September sales broke records, powered by government policies and automakers' powerful line-ups.

Sales of electric vehicles rose 71.5 percent year on year to 112,000 units while plug-in hybrids added 53.9 percent to 26,000 units. 

SAIC Motor, China’s biggest automaker, said its retail sales rose 9.5 percent in September from the same period last year to 602,318 vehicles. Geely, the country’s largest privately owned carmaker, said it sold 126,365 cars last month, up 11 percent compared with a year earlier. 

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