SHANGHAI—Auto sales in China rose for a fourth straight month in October, as the country’s rebound from the coronavirus pandemic gained momentum.
Sales increased 8% in October from a year earlier to just under 2 million vehicles, the China Passenger Car Association said Monday. Growth in the higher end market outpaced that in the mass market, rising 30% from last year, the association said, continuing a trend that has persisted through the recovery.
China’s strong rebound has made it a much-needed source of strength for global auto makers whose sales are still weak in some Western markets that are now facing the prospect of a resurgence in infections.
The virus has been brought largely under control in China for several months, and retail sales more broadly began to grow again on a yearly basis in August amid a return in consumer confidence, according to the official National Bureau of Statistics.
Improving consumer sentiment has coincided with new model launches and deep discounting to power China’s auto recovery more strongly than many analysts had predicted, said Jing Yang, director of corporate research at Fitch Ratings. Demand should remain firm through the end of 2020 as consumers take advantage of deals that are set to expire in the new year, she said.