New data released Monday by the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) showed that in January this year, the retail volume of domestic passenger cars was 2.092 million units, down 4.4% year-on-year. Meanwhile, the new energy passenger car market kicked 2022 off well, with retail sales reaching 347,000 units in January, up 132% year-on-year.
After the commencement of the country’s Spring Festival holiday on January 31, vehicle production lines came to a halt, causing consumers to buy new cars several days prior. The CPCA estimated that about 15% of production and sales will be lost due to the holiday in January. Therefore, in CPCA’s view, the performance of the passenger vehicle market in China in January was relatively positive.
169,000 passenger cars were exported in January, up 91% year-on-year, with new energy vehicles accounting for 30% of the total export volume. In January, the export of self-developed vehicle brands in China reached 107,000 units, up 56% year-on-year.
In terms of production, 2.059 million passenger cars were produced in January, up 10.4% year-on-year. Among them, the production of self-developed vehicle brands increased by 17% year-on-year.
In the new energy vehicle market, affected by centralized delivery at the end of last year, the sales performance was weak in early January, but it increased markedly in the second and third weeks of the month. 52,000 new energy vehicles were exported in the month, including 40,499 units from Tesla China, 4,814 units from SAIC and 313 units from BYD.
There were 11 new energy vehicle enterprises whose wholesale volume exceeded 10,000 units during the month, six of which saw a significant year-on-year increase. Some well-known examples are BYD, Tesla China, XPeng, Li Auto and NETA Auto, whose wholesale volumes reached 93,101 units, 59,845 units, 12,922 units, 12,268 units and 11,009 units, respectively.
With the decline of subsidies for new energy vehicles in China and the sharp rise in the prices of basic resources such as lithium, new energy vehicle enterprises are facing cost pressures. However, the CPCA expects that the price of new energy vehicles will not rise significantly in February.
Analysts contend that the increasing cost of batteries can be resolved in many ways. Vehicle makers may choose to improve battery performance and introduce more suppliers to lower costs. Moreover, the price of the recently surging 4680 battery model is expected to be lower in the future.