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Mixed Performance in China's Auto Retail Sales: NEVs Show Resilience in a Challenging Market

Published: 6.22.2023

China's passenger car market was weak in the first two weeks of June, while the new energy vehicle (NEV) market performed slightly better.


According to data released by the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), retail sales of passenger NEVs in China were 160,000 units, up 18 percent year-on-year (YoY) but down 4 percent from the same period last month.


YoY growth in the NEV market was driven by strong demand for pure electric vehicles (BEVs), which rose 23 percent YoY to 130,000 units. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) also performed well, with sales up 10 percent YoY to 30,000 units.


The weak performance of the overall passenger car market was due to a number of factors, including rising interest rates and concerns about the economy. 


The broader passenger car market faced greater challenges during this period, as indicated by its weak performance. Factors such as supply chain disruptions, semiconductor shortages, and lingering impacts of the global pandemic have contributed to the subdued demand for traditional passenger vehicles. 


Despite these hurdles, the year-to-date (YTD) retail sales of passenger vehicles in China have managed to maintain a modest growth of 3% year-on-year, totaling 8.057 million units.


The overall trends in China's auto retail sales highlight the ongoing transformation and diversification of the market. While traditional passenger car sales may experience temporary setbacks, the NEV market's consistent growth demonstrates its resilience and long-term potential. 


As the Chinese economy recovers from the impact of the pandemic and market conditions stabilize, it is expected that both passenger car and NEV sales will regain momentum. The auto industry's shift towards electrification and sustainable mobility aligns with the broader global trend, as countries worldwide strive to reduce emissions and combat climate change.

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