The auto market starts to grow again

  Our reporter Liu Jin

  A few days ago, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers released data showing that in January this year, my country's automobile production and sales reached 2.388 million and 2.503 million, respectively, an increase of 34.6% and 29.5% year-on-year, ushering in a "good start."

Following the beginning of the two consecutive years in 2019 and 2020, the domestic auto market has finally returned to the growth track in 2021.

  Xu Haidong, deputy chief engineer of the China Automobile Association, said that this is due to the current overall good momentum in automobile production and sales; on the other hand, due to the 2020 Spring Festival in January, coupled with the outbreak of the new crown pneumonia epidemic, the base is low.

  On the whole, the overall demand in the auto market is stable, and the contribution of passenger car sales growth remains within a reasonable range.

In January, the domestic passenger vehicle production and sales were 1.91 million and 2.045 million, respectively, down 18.1% and 13.9% month-on-month, and up 32.4% and 26.8% year-on-year.

Except for crossover passenger cars, the production and sales of other passenger car categories are showing a growth trend, with the growth rate of cars and SUVs being even more pronounced.

  In addition, the monthly sales of commercial vehicles set a new historical record for 10 consecutive months.

In January, domestic commercial vehicle production and sales were 478,000 and 458,000, respectively, up 44.3% and 43.1% year-on-year.

Among the main categories of commercial vehicles, the production and sales of trucks and buses have increased rapidly year-on-year.

  New energy vehicles continued the development trend since the second half of last year. Sales in January of this year increased nearly 2.5 times year-on-year, setting a new historical record for 7 consecutive months.

Compared with the same period last year, the production and sales of pure electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles maintained a rapid growth momentum, and the growth rate of pure electric vehicles was particularly significant.

This shows that new energy vehicles are becoming more and more recognized by consumers. With the gradual improvement of market acceptance, new energy vehicles may become the focus of the increase in the auto market in the future.

  In addition, in the passenger car segment, the growth of independent brands has also driven overall sales.

In January, sales of self-owned brands were 867,000 units, an increase of 42.6% year-on-year, accounting for 42.4% of total passenger vehicle sales, an increase of 4.7% year-on-year.

  Chen Shihua, Deputy Secretary-General of the China Automobile Association, said that since 2020, independent brands have collectively made efforts to find new breakthroughs in the mid-to-high-end market. Self-owned brands provide more opportunities.

  However, in the overall upturn of the auto market, the turmoil of production cuts and shutdowns of auto companies due to the imbalance between the supply and demand of auto chips has continued to ferment.

Due to insufficient chip supply, domestic automobile production and sales were affected in January.

The data shows that domestic automobile production in January this year declined rapidly compared with the previous month, reflecting that the insufficient supply of automobile chips has affected the production rhythm of enterprises.

  Liu Jin