Inicio AutoShows Chinese EV makers speed towards 2023 sales record

Chinese EV makers speed towards 2023 sales record

Chinese EV makers speed towards 2023 sales record
A strong second half of the year has put Chinese electric vehicle (EV) makers on course to meet an ambitious sales target for 2023 despite a bumpy start, buoyed by mainland Chinese drivers’ rising penchant for battery-powered vehicles.

Deliveries of EVs to dealers hit an all-time high of 940,000 units in November, up 6.5 per cent from the previous record of 883,000 units set in October, according to an official estimate released by the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) on Monday evening.

That translates to a 35 per cent year-on-year increase in wholesale deliveries to 7.74 million units through the first 11 months of 2023. The CPCA predicted in mid-2023 that a total of 8.5 million pure electric and plug-in hybrid cars would be delivered to dealers between January and December, a 30.8 per cent increase over 2022.

Two out of every five cars sold on the mainland now are powered by electricity, giving top players like BYD, Tesla and Li Auto a golden opportunity to chase high profitability in the world’s largest automotive and EV market.
Attendees look at an Xpeng X9 on display at the Guangzhou Auto Show in Guangzhou, China, on November 17, 2023. Photo: Bloomberg

“Preliminary sales data for November has shown encouraging signs that the Chinese EV market is recovering on a solid footing,” said Zhao Zhen, a sales director with Shanghai-based dealer Wan Zhuo Auto. “The EV sector has reason to cheer for sterling gains in the second half of 2023.”

Cui Dongshu, the association’s general secretary, said that in October alone, two-thirds of new EVs taking to the streets worldwide were sold in mainland China. “Every carmaker is making a dash to the year-end as they try to meet their sales targets,” he said.


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Li Auto, which joined the Hang Seng Index as one of its new constituents in November, reported deliveries of 41,030 units last month, up 1.5 per cent from 40,422 in October. Xpeng handed over 20,041 vehicles to buyers, just topping its October total of 20,002.

If the industry tops its annual sales target, it will have done so without cash subsidies. On January 1, Beijing scrapped cash awards that amounted to about 13,000 yuan (US$1,822) per vehicle, which EV buyers had enjoyed previously.

In the first four months of this year, a price war initiated by Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory failed to bolster deliveries of EVs as customers bet that further discounts would be offered to spur sales.

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“The rosy sales data in the second half proved that EV penetration in China is an irreversible trend,” said Davis Zhang, a senior ­executive at Suzhou Hazardtex, a supplier of specialised vehicle batteries. “Young motorists in China are increasingly keen on owning intelligent electric cars now that a vast charging network around the country is available.”

According to the China Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Promotion Alliance, there were 151,400 charging stations across the mainland by October.

In 2020, Beijing set goals of growing new EV sales to 20 per cent of all new car sales by 2025 and making EVs the “mainstream” of new car sales by 2035. A fast pace of adoption helped the country achieve the 20 per cent target at the end of 2022, three years ahead of schedule.

The EV industry is among the bright spots of the mainland economy amid China’s efforts to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.