BEIJING, March 11 (Reuters) – Auto sales in China, the world’s biggest auto market, surged 365% in February over the same month a year earlier, for their 11th month of gains, as the country leads the global industry’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sales reached 1.46 million vehicles in February, data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) showed.
A year ago, China’s auto sales was hard hit by the pandemic due to nationwide travel restrictions. But the market started to bounce back in the second quarter, along with the rest of the economy, as the country managed to get the coronavirus largely under control.
Automakers including Toyota and Geely reported triple-digit sales growth last month.
Sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs), including battery-powered electric vehicles, plug-in petrol-electric hybrids and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, increased 585% in February to 110,000 units.
NEV makers such as homegrown Nio Inc and Xpeng Inc as well as foreign groups including Tesla Inc are expanding manufacturing capacity in China where the government has promoted greener vehicles to reduce air pollution.
(Reporting by Yilei Sun and Tony Munroe; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Lincoln Feast.)