Due to the steep decline in first-quarter volume amid the virus outbreak, demand for new light-vehicles in the first nine months dropped 12 percent to below 13.4 million.
But new commercial-vehicle deliveries advanced 20 percent to top 3.7 million in the first three quarters.
Overall, across the industry, new-vehicle sales in September rose 17 percent to approach 2.6 million, with year-to-date volume declining 6.9 percent to some 17.1 million.
The Beijing auto show, promotional events and policies enacted by local governments to support the auto industry drove sales growth in September, senior CAAM official Chen Shihua told reporters.
Passenger vehicle sales rose 8 percent in September. Geely Automobile Holdings, Great Wall Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. were among those that booked double-digit growth.
This time of year is also known as “Golden September, Silver October” and is usually a highpoint in sales across the industry, with consumers venturing out to make purchases after largely avoiding showrooms during the stifling summer months.
“Based on our dealer channel checks, the growth in momentum extended into the October Golden Week, as retail sales exceeded dealers’ expectations,” said Haitong International analyst Shi Ji.