BEIJING (AP) — China’s auto sales rose by 16.4% in July over a year earlier to 2.1 million units in a sign of sustained recovery for the industry’s biggest global market, an industry group said Tuesday.
The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers reported that sales of passenger cars jumped 8.5% from a year earlier to 1.67 million.
In the first seven months of the year, passenger vehicle sales tumbled 18.4% from a year earlier, to 9.5 million, the CAAM said, as many cities in China imposed wide shutdowns during the first quarter to battle the new coronavirus pandemic.
Demand already was weak before the pandemic hit, due to consumer jitters over a slowing economy and trade tensions with Washington. Sales fell 9.6% last year, the second straight annual decline. But customers appear to have returned to showrooms, looking for deals.
“The trend is good after recovering momentum in the second quarter of the year,” the group said in a statement.
China’s market is still dominated mainly by foreign brands. Sales of Chinese vehicle models rose 4.5% in July from a year ago to 585,000 units. They had an overall market share of 35.1%, down slightly from a year earlier.