Chinese sales of new energy vehicles near 1 million mark

Company News

by Glenn Dyer

Thanks to purchase subsidies, Chinese sales of so-called New Energy vehicles came within sight of topping the million units mark for a month in October.

According to official data released from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), a total of 956,000 NEVs were solid in October, up a modest 5.75% from September's previous record of 904,000.

That was up 34% from October 2022 when an impressive 714,000 units were sold in what was to be the second last month of subsides from the central, provincial and local governments.

Those subsidies ended last December, but were restarted in early 2023 when it became clear consumers were becoming reluctant to buy NEVs without some sort of help.

Those subsidies have seen a strong pick up in sales, helped at various times this year by price cuts from the likes of tesla, BYD and Nio.

Now, more importantly, pure battery powered cars accounted for two thirds of all sales in October, easily topping sales of plug in hybrids.

NEV sales again grew faster than the wider market in October and confirmed that for yet another month, total industry sales would have fallen without the extra sales of the new types of vehicles

China's all vehicle sales in October totalled 2,853 million, up 1.5% year-on-year but 0.2% lower than in September.

That total sales in October fell from September even with the inclusion NEV sales - confirms just how weak Chinese consumer demand is at the moment.

Unlike figures from the China Passenger Car Association, the CAAM's NEV sales include all wholesale sales by carmakers, including those within China and those exported to overseas markets. NEVs include battery electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), and fuel-cell vehicles.

BEV sales were a record 646,000 units in October, up 19% from a year earlier and 3% from September, while PHEV sales in October were a record 310,000 units, the sixth consecutive record month. This was up 80.2% from a year earlier and nearly 12% from September.

China's production of NEVs in October was 989,000 units, up 29.2%, while the country’s production of all vehicles in last month was 2.891 million units, up 11.2% from 2022 and just 1.2% from September.

China's NEV sales jumped 38%to 7,280 million units in the 10 months from January-October, accounting for 30.4% of the 23.919 million of all vehicles sold.

BEV sales were up 25% year-on-year to 5.16 million units in the January-October period, and PHEV sales were up 82.6% year-on-year to 2.116 million units.

In October, 488,000 vehicles were exported from China, up 44.2% year-on-year and up 9.8% from September.

All up China exported 3.922 million vehicles from January to October, up nearly 60% year-on-year. NEVs exported 995,000 in the same period totalled 995,000, up 99% year-on-year.

Excluding exports, China sold a record 832,000 NEVs locally in October, up 33.3% year-on-year and up 3% from September.

In the January-October period, China's NEV sales, excluding exports, were 6.285 million units, up 31.4% from.

BYD accounting for a third of the total with sales of more than 301,000 units in the month. In the January-October period, BYD sold 2,381,471 NEVs, up 70.3% year on year.

The company aims to sell at least 3 million NEVs by the end of December, which means it will have to sell at least about 310,000 vehicles in each of the next two months to reach its goal.

To do that it is now offering a spread of price discounts across most of its model ranges. 

Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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