China's Car Sales Fall 5.7% in April as Buyers Wait Amid Deepening Price War
Zhang Yushuo
DATE:  May 13 2024
/ SOURCE:  Yicai
China's Car Sales Fall 5.7% in April as Buyers Wait Amid Deepening Price War China's Car Sales Fall 5.7% in April as Buyers Wait Amid Deepening Price War

(Yicai) May 13 -- Car sales dropped 5.7 percent in China last month from a year earlier after consumers took a wait-and-see approach due to the fluctuating prices in the Chinese car market, the world's largest.

Retail sales of passenger vehicles came in at 1.5 million units in April, down 9.4 percent from the prior month, according to data released by the China Passenger Car Association on May 10.

April this year had two more working days than a year earlier, the price war in the new energy vehicle segment had a weak sustainability impact on sales, and most fuel-powered models had no space for price cuts, according to the CPCA. These factors made potential buyers stay on the sidelines, it added.

Trade-ins will significantly benefit the Chinese car market this month, meaning that retail sales of passenger vehicles will likely increase, said Cui Dongshu, the CPCA's secretary general.

Customers' wait-and-see approach greatly impacted sales at joint venture car vendors, with all of them among the top 10 biggest vendors in China suffering a significant drop in sales.

Sales of FAW-Volkswagen Automobile fell 15.6 percent in April from a year ago, while that of SAIC Volkswagen Automotive tumbled 22 percent. GAC Toyota Motor and FAW Toyota Motor saw sales plunge over 30 percent. Domestic carmakers BYD and Geely Automobile sold over 30 percent more units in the period, while Chery Automobile reported a nearly 60 percent surge.

Retail sales of new energy passenger cars jumped 28 percent to 674,000 units, with the penetration rate rising 11.7 percentage points to 44 percent. The NEV penetration rate among leading JV brands was only 7.5 percent.

Exports of passenger vehicles in China reached a record high of 417,000 units in April, up 38 percent from a year ago. New energy passenger car exports surged 27 percent to 115,000 units.

Retail sales of passenger cars in China reached 6.4 million units in the first four months of the year, up 8 percent from a year earlier. However, the profit margin in the auto industry was just 4.6 percent in the three months ended March 31, compared with an average of 4.9 percent among all industries.

There were still some profits in the fuel-powered cars market, which is shrinking at an increasing pace, Cui pointed out. The NEV market kept rapidly growing, but the money-losing situation remained prevalent, he noted.

Editor: Martin Kadiev

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Keywords:   Sales,NEV,Passenger Vehicles