Chinese auto sales surged 10% year-on-year in October in fastest growth since May, exports up 50%

BEIJING — Sales of passenger cars rose 10.2% in October over a year earlier, an industry association said today, as makers ramped up promotions and customers opted for electric and hybrid vehicles.

Sales of electric and hybrid vehicles climbed 37.5% from a year earlier, accounting for 767,000 of the 2.03 million vehicles sold in October, the China Passenger Car Association said.

Exports of passenger cars jumped nearly 50% to 391,000 units in October and have risen 66% this year, to just over 3 million units.

The robust improvements partly reflect slow growth a year earlier, when China was grappling with factory shutdowns and other disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic. Demand for vehicles also tends to be stronger in September and October, which are dubbed the “nine silvers and 10 golds,” the report said.

So far this year, auto sales in China have climbed 3.2% to just under 17.3 million units.

The report said Tesla delivered 47,164 Model Y vehicles and 24,951 Model 3s made at its Shanghai plant. Chinese automaker BYD led sales of new energy battery of electric vehicles by far, with 63,965 Song model sedans its best seller.

The China Passenger Car Association said the outlook for November was unclear given the current “complex and severe” economic outlook.