BEIJING, May 11 (Xinhua) -- Sales of passenger cars in China continued to warm up in April as pent-up demand unleashed, but foundations for a "V-shape" rebound were yet to solidify due to uncertainties from the COVID-19 impact, industry data showed Monday.
The retail sales of passenger vehicles amounted to 1.43 million units last month, down 5.6 percent year on year but recovering from the 40-percent drop for March and 79-percent fall in February, according to the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA).
Passenger car sales surged 36.6 percent month on month, reversing the usual seasonal trend and suggesting a relatively quick recovery in demand following further domestic containment of the epidemic.
While the overseas spread of the virus may have affected consumer confidence, pent-up demand combined with consumption-spurring policies have offset the negative impacts, the CPCA noted, adding slumping oil prices in the international market also played a part.
Sales of new energy passenger cars came in at 64,000 units in April, down 30 percent year on year but up 14.8 percent from March.
While the sales data pointed to a "V-shape" recovery trend, the CPCA said foundations for the rebound were not solid as the pace of industry recovery remained to be seen.
Meanwhile, the market expectation of a warming housing market following increasing liquidity injections may affect auto consumption, the CPCA added.
In the first four months, passenger car sales totaled 4.45 million units, down 32.7 percent year on year.
To cushion the short-term impact the coronavirus outbreak has caused on auto sales, a pillar of China's consumption, China has encouraged local authorities and financial institutions to roll out measures to help stimulate the market.
More efforts will be made to increase support for personal auto consumption credit and further release the auto consumption potential by appropriately lowering the down payment ratio and loan interest rate as well as extending the repayment period, according to a circular jointly issued by 11 departments including the National Development and Reform Commission.
Other measures included adjustments made to the implementation of "China VI" vehicle emission standards and favorable tax policies for purchases of new energy vehicles. Enditem