China’s passenger car retail sales grew 1.9% in 2022, with EV and hybrids reaching a record and doubling that of 2021

HONG KONG–China’s passenger car retail sales growth slowed last year to 1.9%, down from more than 4% in 2021, as auto makers faced severe production disruptions and economic challenges under strict Covid curbs.

China’s car makers and dealers sold 20.5 million passenger cars in 2022, the China Passenger Car Association said Tuesday.

In December, retail sales were 2.17 million, up 3% from the same month a year earlier, as consumers took advantage of the last month of state support for car buyers, which included subsidies for electric vehicles and tax cuts for midrange car purchases.

The country’s retail sales of new-energy cars, which includes all-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, reached almost 5.67 million in 2022, almost double that of 2021 and reaching a record.

In December, China sold 640,000 new-energy cars, up 35% from a year earlier, including 455,000 cars that were all-electric.

Overall automobile production grew 11.6% in 2022 compared with a year earlier. Auto manufacturers produced 15% fewer cars in December from a year earlier, as the country was in the grip of a nationwide Covid outbreak after Beijing eased its pandemic policies.

“The overall market was exceptionally complex last year,” said Cui Dongshu, CPCA’s general secretary. The market last year saw slumps in April and in November, but weren’t fully offset by the growth seen in June and December, he said.

Write to Selina Cheng at

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