China's retail new-vehicle sales fell 9.2 percent last month as strict government measures aimed at curbing a spike in coronavirus infections disrupted auto production and deliveries, the China Automobile Dealers Association said.
In November, industrywide retail sales of new sedans, crossovers, SUVs and multi-purpose vehicles fell just short of 1.65 million, according to a final tally released Thursday from the trade group.
The latest results, lower than CADA’s previous estimates of 1.7 million, brought an end to a market rebound that stretched from June to October.
Through November, new-car deliveries industrywide have risen 1.8 percent to 18.4 million, the trade group said.
More than 40 percent of new-car dealerships had to suspend operations for some time last month due to lockdowns, it said.
Government anti-pandemic measures, coupled with the prolonged shortage of semiconductor chips, severely curbed sales at global automakers.
Nissan Motor Co. said November retail sales in China tumbled 53 percent to 47,983, with year-to-date volume slipping 20 percent to 974,715.
Honda Motor Co.’s China deliveries plunged 43 percent to 78,126. Through November, Honda’s local volume dropped 11 percent to 1.23 million.
Sales at Changan Ford, Ford Motor Co.’s passenger-vehicle joint venture with Changan Automobile Co., skidded 35 percent to 18,853 last month, with year-do-date volume dropping 13 percent to 231,935, according to Changan.
Given the weakened economy and mounting public grievances, the Chinese government started to significantly relax draconian COVID rules on Wednesday.
The government has eliminated nearly all restrictions on domestic travel and removed requirements for lockdowns and mass nucleic acid testing. It will also allow asymptomatic patients or people with mild symptoms to isolate at home.