The China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) on Monday released the sales volume of the domestic passenger car market in March. Data show that during the month, retail sales of passenger cars reached 1.579 million units, down 10.5% year-on-year and up 25.6% quarter-on-quarter. From January to March, cumulative retail sales were 4.915 million vehicles, down 4.5% year-on-year with a net annual drop of 230,000 vehicles, lower than expected.
On the other hand, the wholesale volume of new energy passenger cars reached 455,000 in March, up 122.4% year-on-year and 43.6% quarter-on-quarter, which was close to that in previous years. From January to March, 1.19 million new energy passenger cars were sold, up 145.4% year-on-year.
In March, the retail sales of new energy passenger cars reached 445,000 units, up 137.6% year-on-year and 63.1% quarter-on-quarter, both of which were better than the trend for March in previous years. From January to March, the domestic retail sales of new energy passenger cars was 1.07 million, up 146.6% year-on-year.
According to CPCA, the recent two-round price increase of new energy vehicles in the Chinese market has not had a significant impact on the market. There are four reasons. First, the current new energy vehicles are sold by pre-order, and car companies hold a large number of orders without price increase. Second, plug-in hybrid vehicles have a certain substitution effect on fuel-powered vehicles. Third, consumers of new energy vehicles now have strong demand and are slightly less sensitive to price rise. Fourth, some new energy vehicle companies provided a certain buffer period before the price increase, which caused part of consumers to follow suit to place orders.
In addition, CPCA Secretary-General Cui Dongshu added that the outbreak of COVID-19 cases across the country in March has affected dealers and order transactions in Jilin, Shanghai, Shandong, Guangdong and Hebei. New control measures have had a strong impact on logistics, resulting in great losses for vehicle retail stores.
According to available data, the global chip shortage has recovered in March compared with February, and the production and sales growth of the automobile market was relatively good. Since mid-March, however, the cities of Changchun and Shanghai and other places have been affected by COVID lockdowns, which have brought about extreme impacts on some automobile enterprises and supply chains. Among them, the production of luxury brands including Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz is impacted, and their production output is seriously lower than expected.