New-vehicle sales in China spiked 75 percent in March to approach 2.53 million deliveries despite the ongoing microchip shortage, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said Friday.
The stronger-than-expected rebound was due to abnormally low volume a year earlier when the coronavirus outbreak severely affected Chinese business activities including auto sales, the industry group said.
Last month, deliveries of new light vehicles — sedans, crossovers, SUVs, multipurpose vehicles and minibuses – surged 77 percent to top 1.87 million.
Demand for new commercial vehicles such as trucks and buses also jumped 68 percent to some 651,000 deliveries.
In the month, sales of EVs soared 240 percent to around 226,000. The number includes some 190,000 full electric vehicles, 36,000 plug-in hybrids and 59 fuel cell vehicles.
For the first quarter, industrywide new-vehicle sales rebounded 76 percent from a year earlier to exceed 6.48 million deliveries.
In the period, new light-vehicle deliveries rallied 75 percent to nearly 5.08 million while new commercial-vehicle demand spiked 77 percent to approach 1.41 million.
Some 515,000 electrified vehicles were sold in the first quarter, surging 280 percent from a year earlier. The tally includes around 433,000 EVs, 82,000 plug-in hybrids and 150 fuel cell vehicles.
CAAM warned the chip shortage may generate a bigger negative impact on auto production in China in the second quarter than in the first quarter.
There won’t be a “noticeable” easing in the shortage until the fourth quarter, it predicted.