Major Chinese OEMs: March & April 2020 recovery centered on commercial vehicle sales
BYD with Toyota & Hino, Renault focus on EVs & LCVs, SAIC & Geely new brands
The production volume of motor vehicles in China in the January through March 2020 period fell by 45.2% compared to the same quarter in the previous year (year-over-year, y/y), to 3.474 million units, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM). Sales volumes for the same period decreased 42.4% y/y to 3.672 million units. From March, generally the major OEM groups are trending toward recovery but the Dongfeng Motor Corporation (DFM), which is headquartered in Wuhan, is in a severe situation with regards to production and sales. By OEM, the major commercial vehicle manufacturers including SAIC Maxus Automotive Co., Ltd. and Beiqi Foton Motor Co., Ltd. are relatively rallying well, and among passenger car manufacturers, the recovery at GAC Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. (GTMC) and Beijing Benz Automotive Co., Ltd. is relatively rapid compared to other automakers.
Furthermore, according to a CAAM announcement in May, 2020, April production rose by 2.3% y/y to 2.102 million units and sales increased 4.4% y/y to 2.07 million units, ending a 21 consecutive month decline in sales. In addition, CAAM’s forecast for 2020 sales is a 15% y/y decrease in the optimistic scenario, and a 25% y/y decline in the pessimistic scenario.
While being affected by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the major China OEM groups can be seen to be making big moves in partnerships, plant expansions, share transfers and reorganizations related to NEVs (new energy vehicles) and smart cars. China FAW Group Co., Ltd. is progressing in digitalization with a major IT company. Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., Ltd. further strengthened its relationship with various joint venture companies and introduced a JV company EV (electric vehicle) model. BYD Co., Ltd., with the top share of EVs, announced a series of partnerships with Toyota and Hino in April. Renault transferred its shares of Dongfeng Renault Automotive Company Limited (DRAC), whose sales did not grow as much as expected, to the Dongfeng Motor Corporation.
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