China’s EV Growth Forecasts Are Starting to Look Shaky – by Danny Lee (Bloomberg News – May 30, 2022)

(Bloomberg) — Optimism this would be a banner year for the world’s biggest electric-car market is starting to wane. After all, who wants to spend big bucks on a vehicle right now in China?

Shanghai’s grueling two-month lockdown and whack-a-mole restrictions in cities from Beijing to Tianjin have had a deleterious effect on consumer confidence and left the economy reeling. In fact, not a single car was purchased in Shanghai in April — not surprising given no one could leave their homes and dealerships were closed.

At the start of the year, the China Passenger Car Association was forecasting 5.5 million EVs would be sold this year, up from 3.3 million last year. That could be under threat — even if demand quickly bounces back, automakers are struggling to operate at full capacity given Covid-19 restrictions on workforces and supply chain constraints.

You just have to look at recent sales figures from the likes of Xpeng and Li Auto to see how big a hit the auto industry has taken. Xpeng deliveries plunged 42% in April from March to just over 9,000. Li Auto shipped just 4,167 vehicles in April, and earlier this month said it sees deliveries of 21,000 to 24,000 vehicles in the second quarter, well short of analysts’ expectations for 29,750.

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