| 1:04 PM EST

Vehicle Wholesales in China Jump 15%

Year-to-date volume still lags, but gap is closing quickly
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Factory sales of passenger and commercial vehicles in China are definitely picking up speed.

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Wholesales to dealers zoomed 15% to 2.08 million units in July, according to preliminary numbers from the China Assn. of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM). Year-on-year volume climbed 11% in June.

That’s the fourth consecutive month of year-on-year growth in sales to dealers, which is how carmakers make money. The trend also indicates that dealers are optimistic about the trajectory of retail sales through the second half of 2020.

Full-Year Gain Ahead

China’s recovering vehicle market is being helped by government tax breaks and discounts by manufacturers eager to jumpstart the market. If this pace continues, China has a good chance of delivering a full-year gains in wholesale and retail volumes alike, compared to last year.

CAAM predicted last month that full-year deliveries to dealers will rise 4%. The China Passenger Car Assn., which tracks the dealer end, forecasts a “strong” gain in second-half deliveries to consumers.

China isn’t quite there yet, though. CAAM, which has not revealed car-specific data, says overall vehicle volume through the first seven months of 2020 totaled 12.3 million units. That’s still nearly 13% below the same period last year because the coronavirus outbreak tanked the market in the first three months of 2020.

Outlook

Details from both trade groups about the passenger vehicle sales will be announced later this month. But barring a second wave of COVID-19, China’s auto industry is well on its way to recovery.

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