China Car Sales Up 69% in March to Return to Pre-Pandemic Levels; Tesla (TSLA), EV Sales Explode

April 9, 2021 6:25 AM EDT

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The latest data from the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) shows that car sales soared in March to contribute to the strongest quarterly growth in recent decades.

Compared to a pandemic-defined quarter last year, retail sales of cars exceeded 5 million for the quarter to end March, the data released today shows. This represents an increase of 69% compared to a year earlier, but a decrease of 19% compared to January this year.

The quarter sales of 5.09 million came in just a bit higher than 5.08 cars sold in the first quarter of 2019. Sales of electric vehicles (EVs) soared to 437,000, representing a four-fold increase than in the year-ago period. Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) sold 69,280 Shanghai-made Model 3s and Model Ys, numbers show.

The CPCA projects that China will record EV sales of 2 million this year on strong demand. This project may be hampered by a global shortage of chips that is hindering car production. The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers forecasts the supply shortage to last extend into the second quarter, and maybe until the end of this year.



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