Sales of sedans, crossovers, SUVs, multipurpose vehicles and minibuses in China rose 2 percent to top 2.42 million in December after slipping seven straight months.
On the back of a robust first-quarter rebound, deliveries increased 6.5 percent to 21.48 million in 2021, snapping a string of three consecutive annual market declines, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said Wednesday.
CAAM attributed the rebound in last month's light-vehicle deliveries to easing semiconductor chip shortages that have undermined global light-vehicle output for months. Electrified vehicle sales also continue to surge.
In addition to improving microchip supplies, CAAM said more favorable raw material prices should also provide a lift to 2022 industry sales.
After decades of robust growth, the market started contracting in 2018 as some tax cuts were phased out, fallout from growing U.S.-China trade friction during the Trump administration and later the COVID-19 pandemic.
In December, sedan sales increased 7.5 percent to nearly 1.13 million, while crossover and SUV volume inched up 0.3 percent to 1.14 million.
But multi-purpose vehicle deliveries slumped 21 percent to some 113,000 while minibus sales fell 12 percent to around 41,000.
In 2021, sedan deliveries rose 7.1 percent to 9.93 million while sales of crossovers and SUVs grew 6.8 percent to 10.1 million.
Annual sales of multi-purpose vehicles and minibuses edged up 0.1 percent and 0.8 percent to about 1.06 million and 391,000.
In December, sales of new commercial vehicles such as trucks and buses plunged 20 percent to roughly 364,000, with 2021 volume dropping 6.6 percent to 4.79 million.
In total, new vehicle deliveries in China slid 1.6 percent to 2.79 million last month, with the 2021 tally rising 3.8 percent to just below 26.3 million.