(Yicai) Jan. 23 — Car dealers in Beijing, Nanjing, and Zhengzhou said customer traffic and sales dropped month on month in January, affected by the price war at the end of last year and despite the year’s start usually being a peak season for auto sales.
Customer numbers and sales plunged between 50 percent and 70 percent last month from December, some dealers in the three cities told Yicai, noting that the figures even dived 80 percent to 90 percent at some individual brands.
The average number of car sales per day in China fell 35 percent to 54,000 units in the first week of the year, according to data from the China Passenger Car Association. The figure was 83,000 units in the last week of December.
Customer traffic and sales of new energy vehicles at a Shanghai dealership plunged 90 percent in January from a month earlier, Zhang Feng, a sales consultant at the outlet, said to Yicai.
Tesla was the first carmaker to cut prices in the Chinese market this year, but some of its stores still reported client numbers and orders tumbling 60 percent to 70 percent, a salesperson of the US carmaker told Yicai.
According to another Tesla salesperson, his shop has received orders for only about a dozen units this month, while some other stores have the figure at below 10 units.
China’s vehicle market may face even higher pressure after the Chinese New Year holiday, which runs from Feb. 12 to 17 this year, a marketing executive of a leading Chinese carmaker told Yicai.
The price war last year and advanced consumption amid the retreat of license subsidy policies in some cities are the main reasons for the Chinese car market’s bleak start, noted Chen Shihua, deputy secretary-general of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. The market may gradually pick up after the Chinese New Year holiday, Chen added.
According to a forecast by the CAAM, China’s car sales will likely rise 3 percent to top 31 million units in 2024 from the previous year.
Editor: Martin Kadiev