The auto industry experienced the most severe test in history in April 2022, when some automakers suspended production due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Only three out of China’s top 10 vehicle makers recorded positive sales growth from January to April this year, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).
In the first four months of 2022, the top 10 OEMs sold 6.594 million cars, which took 85.7% of the total sales, down 0.3 percentage point year on year.
The sales growth of BYD, GAC Motors (Chinese: 广汽集团) and Chery Automobile (Chinese: 奇瑞汽车) was positive in the first four months of 2022. BYD and GAC’s vehicle sales went up 163% YOY to around 398,000 units and 7.2% over last year to 732,000 units, respectively. Meanwhile, Chery’s sales totaled 284,000 units, on par with the levels in 2021.
Shanghai has been placed under a lockdown for over two months since late March, putting significant pressure on China’s auto manufacturers to maintain production amid already severe supply chain shortages.
According to the CAAM, from January to April in 2022, the total sales of vehicles decreased by 12.1% compared with the same period last year. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic waning in Shanghai and the steady resumption of work, the auto industry is expected to recover in the second half of this year.