China’s new-vehicle sales continued to grow in April on demand for sedans, crossovers, SUVs, multipurpose vehicles and minibuses, but a top trade group warned a growing chip shortage will undermine second quarter output and possibly sales.
Overall, deliveries have now climbed 13 straight months year over year as the industry moves beyond the pandemic.
Deliveries of new light vehicles -- sedans, crossovers, SUVs, multipurpose vehicles and minibuses – advanced 11 percent to top 1.7 million, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said Wednesday.
Behind a 77 percent rebound in the first quarter compared with the same coronavirus-battered early months of 2020, new light-vehicle deliveries through April have jumped 53 percent to 6.79 million.
April sales of new commercial vehicles such as buses and trucks gained 2.3 percent to about 548,000.
Through April, deliveries of new commercial vehicles rose 47 percent to 1.96 million.
In total, deliveries of new light vehicles and commercial vehicles rose 8.6 percent to around 2.25 million in April, with year-to-date volume rallying 52 percent to approach 8.75 million.
Sales of new electrified vehicles remained explosive in April, spiking 180 percent from a year earlier to around 206,000.
The surge was led by electric vehicles -- EV deliveries shot up 220 percent to some 171,000. Plug-in hybrid volume jumped 71 percent to roughly 35,000.
Through April, demand for new electrified vehicles soared 250 percent to roughly 732,000. The tally includes some 615,000 EVs and 117,000 plug-in hybrids, a surge of 280 percent and 140 percent, respectively.
At a press conference Wednesday in Beijing, CAAM warned that semiconductor shortages are likely to affect vehicle production more severely in the second quarter than in the first quarter.
In March, the industry group estimated tight chip supplies would force automakers in China to cut aggregate production by 5 percent to ten percent.
It didn’t specify the shortage’s impact on vehicle output in April.