China’s rebounding car sales bode well for EU carmakers

Jill Petzinger
·Germany Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
·2-min read
Traffic is seen along a road in Beijing on July 30, 2020. (Photo by WANG ZHAO / AFP) (Photo by WANG ZHAO/AFP via Getty Images)
Traffic in Beijing on July 30, 2020. Car sales in China rose again in October for the seventh month in a row. Photo: Wang Zhao/AFP via Getty Images

Vehicle sales in China rose again in October to hit 2.57 million vehicles, a 12.5% increase compared to the same month last year, according to the latest figures from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

The surge in sales, which includes buses and trucks, reflects how the world’s second-largest economy is emerging from the pandemic — its GDP grew by 4.9% in the third quarter— and offers hope to European carmakers who are heavily dependent on China, the world’s largest car market, for sales.

Premium German carmaker BMW (BMW.DE) said in its third-quarter earnings report last week that profits were boosted by a 31% year-on-year sales rebound in the Chinese market that offset a slump in demand in the US market.

READ MORE: Rebound in China boosts BMW to third-quarter profit

Volkswagen (VOW3.DE) which swung back to profit in the third quarter, also said that this was largely led by strong demand in China, where its sales have returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Japan’s Honda and Toyota have both predicted a growth in profit thanks to their sales growth in China.

Sales of pure-electric, hybrid, and hydrogen-cell cars also surged in China in October for the fourth month in a row, to 106,000 units.

The government in Beijing, which has mandated that 25% of all car sales must be EVs by 2025, had ended its subsidies for electric and hybrid cars in 2019, causing a drop in sales. This trend has reversed since July this year, with sales of clean-energy cars on the up again.

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