China vehicle sales rise for third month as Covid-19 pandemic eases
Vehicle sales advanced for a third straight month in China, signaling that an economic rebound is gathering pace as the coronavirus pandemic gradually abates in the country.
Sales of passenger cars such as sedans and SUVs, as well as commercial vehicles, increased 11% in June from a year earlier to 2.28 million units, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) said Thursday in a statement, citing preliminary figures. From the preceding month, the increase was 4%.
Customers in the world’s largest car market are slowly returning to showrooms as the government eases restrictions, adding to evidence that the auto slump in its third year may be ending. The pandemic exacerbated a decline in sales, with an economic slowdown, trade tensions with the US and stricter emission standards weighing on demand.
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The government also added stimulus measures such as tax rebates to attract buyers, while automakers that shuttered operations amid the coronavirus outbreak now offer generous discounts.
(Also see pics: Why China's auto industry is revving up stronger than others)
Global automakers spent billions of dollars expanding in China in recent decades, and manufacturers such as Tesla Inc., General Motors Co. and Volkswagen AG remain undeterred in their effort to tap the market’s long-term growth potential, including for electric vehicles.