China leads auto trade restoration with above-expected gross sales

© Reuters. Baojun cars wait outside a dealer in Lushan County, Pingdingshan

BEIJING / SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s vehicle sales are expected to hit 25 million units this year, an industry association said on Friday as the world’s largest vehicle market continued to lead the global auto industry’s recovery from the lows during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fu Bingfeng, Executive Vice Chairman of the Chinese Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), said at an annual conference of the association in Beijing that CAAM expects Chinese sales of over 20 million passenger cars and 5 million commercial vehicles, including trucks and buses, this year. China sold 25.77 million vehicles last year.

Bai Hua, an official with China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said China expects to sell over 1.3 million new energy vehicles (NEV) this year, up from 1.2 million units last year. NEVs include battery-powered electric, plug-in gasoline-electric hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

CAAM also expects Chinese sales to grow slightly over the next year, reaching 30 million units in 2025, Fu said.

As the global auto industry is badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, China has become a ray of hope for automakers like Volkswagen AG (OTC 🙂 and General Motors Co (NYSE :). Global automakers including Toyota Motor (NYSE 🙂 Corp and Honda Motor Co Ltd have forecast higher profits due to increasing sales in China.

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