China’s auto industry continues to claw back from the coronavirus as companies saw a 1.9% increase in year-over-year sales in May with luxury cars leading the charge.
The China Passenger Car Association said that premium and luxury passenger car retail sales rose 28% last month compared with year-ago results. That results are better than the organization predicted, accounting for 1.61 million vehicles sold.
China’s other automotive group, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, or CAAM, predicted an 11.7% jump in May; however, that organization also includes commercial vehicle sales in its results, which are expected later in the week.
Although May was a solid month, exceeded CPCA’s forecast, the group believes that June sales will be down compared with last year’s results, in some measure because last June was a strong sales month in the country.
June may not be as impressive as May, the luxury and premium car market is expected to continue its growth. A Jaguar Land Rover executive said the luxury maker expects sales of China’s luxury-car segment this year to be on par with – or even slightly above – last year’s results despite the impact of the pandemic.
Helping to push that that May sales number into positive territory was Tesla Inc., which sold 11,065 Shanghai-made Model 3 electric sedans in May — a whopping 205% leap compared to April. Tesla sold just 3,635 vehicles in April, which down from 10,160 units in March, according to CPCA data. It should be noted that CPCA uses a different counting method than Tesla, which counts deliveries.
Ford China also reported year-on-year sales growth for May with its Chongqing-based joint venture with Changan selling 23,491 vehicles last month, which is a 130% jump compared with a year earlier, it said last week.
Additionally, Jiangling Motors Corp, in which Ford owns a stake, said last week it posted a 32% increase year-over-year, selling 29,008 vehicles last month. Ford is also enjoying strong results from its Lincoln luxury brand, which pushed past 5,000 vehicles sold, up 22%.
Toyota said its joint ventures in China were up 20.1% compared with last May, moving 166,300 vehicles. Mazda sales blew up, rising 31.6% to 22,886 units. However, Honda did not enjoy the same level of success as its counterparts, reporting at 1.7% slide to 134,230 vehicles.
While the April and May results were good, sales through the first five months took a hit and CAAM expects January to May auto sales in China to fall 23.1% year on year to 7.9 million units.