China car sales see big growth at the beginning of 2019
Zhang Xinyuan

Foreign and domestic car makers reported sales growth in the Chinese market for January 2019 this week, shined a promising light on China's auto market in 2019 after a less than satisfying auto sales performance in China last year.

FAW-Volkswagen Audi sold 63,888 vehicles in the Chinese market in January, a monthly record high, data posted at the company's website showed. The sales represented a 5.3-percent growth from the same timeframe as last year.

China's domestically-manufactured models, whose sales grew 3.9 percent year on year, made up almost 91 percent of the cars sold last month, while sales of imported models made up 5,500 units, according to the FAW-Volkswagen Audi.

Japanese carmaker Honda Motor Company also showed record sales growth in China, selling 136,483 cars in January 2019, an increase of 108.2 percent from the same period last year, according to the data released on the company's website.

Chinese car maker BYD delivered 60,000 cars in January 2019, increasing 77 percent year-on-year.

Among the sales increase, 32,000 of them are new energy vehicles, up 342 percent compared to the same period last year.

The sales uptick in China's auto market was a pleasant surprise after the country reported the first negative growth for car sales last year in more than two decades, down 5.8 percent year on year, amid the trade tension with the U.S. and downward economic pressure.

At the beginning of January, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) predicted that China's auto market is expected to develop at a slow pace in 2019 as mild economic expansion might weigh on big-ticket item consumption.

CAAM predicted that about 28 million cars are likely to be sold in China in 2019, remaining flat with 2018.