China’s Auto Market Slowed in October as Covid Curbed Growth

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by Yoko Kubota and Rafael Huango

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China’s auto market grew more slowly in October as Beijing’s tough restrictions on car production and purchases sparked a fresh Covid-19 outbreak.

The China Passenger Car Association said on Tuesday that passenger-car sales last month rose 7.3% from a year earlier to 1.84 million vehicles.

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The world’s largest car market was growing more than 20% each month from June to September, but the recent Omicron flare-up in several Chinese cities has disrupted auto supply chains, leaving some car makers with production, companies and familiar people. was forced to cut. The thing is said.

In late October, electric-car company NIO Inc. suspended production at its factories in Hefei, east China, following a shortage of components, people familiar with the matter said. Amid a localized Covid outbreak, the NIO was running its plants under a so-called closed-loop system, which means workers are only allowed to move between their residence and their workplace, the people said. An NIO spokesperson said the company has resumed production after facing the impact of the COVID-19 restrictions.

Meanwhile, about 15% of auto dealerships in China closed their business last month, adding to pressure from already weak demand, the association said.

Auto Guangzhou, China’s second largest auto fair, was scheduled to take place this month but has been delayed after rising cases of COVID-19 were reported in its host city, its organizer said. Earlier this year, China indefinitely postponed an auto show in Beijing – the country’s biggest auto industry event – and closed another in Chengdu because of the Covid outbreak.

The association said October sales of new energy cars, which include battery-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, rose 75.2% from a year earlier to 556,000 vehicles.

In October, Tesla Inc. delivered more than 71,000 China-made Model 3s and Model Ys from its Shanghai plant, the association said, of which about 54,500 were sold in other markets outside China. The Warren Buffett-backed BYD company, Tesla’s rival in China, said it sold more than 103,000 battery-electric cars last month.

Write to Yoko Kubota and Raphael Huang at [email protected] and [email protected]

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