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China car sales slumped in January

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HONG KONG–China’s passenger car retail sales plunged 37.9% last month as businesses shut down for an early Lunar New Year holiday and nationwide vehicle purchase tax cuts and electric-car subsidies ended.

China’s car makers and dealers sold 1.3 million passenger cars in January, down 40% from December, the China Passenger Car Association said Wednesday.

There were about 20 workdays in January instead of 30, as businesses and manufacturers wound down for the early Lunar New Year holiday this year. China’s longest holiday period more often falls in February, and car sales typically surge in the weeks before but plunge when hundreds of millions of workers and consumers take a break for festivities.

Retail sales of electric cars and plug-in hybrids, referred to as new-energy vehicles by the association, fell 6.3% from a year earlier year to 332,000 units, reversing the segment’s two- to three-digit growth a month throughout 2022.

Tesla Inc.’s
Shanghai factory delivered more than 66,000 electric vehicles in January, of which 39,000 were exported.

China’s auto manufacturers produced 1.35 million cars in January, down 33.9% from the year-earlier period.

Write to Selina Cheng at


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