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New energy vehicles continue to steal the show in China, with sales totalling 2.99 million units for 2021, according to newly released data from China’s Passenger Car Association.

2021 battery electric vehicle sales led the charge, according to Bloomberg, with sales up 168.6% to 2.44 million units.

China’s Passenger Car Association said that overall passenger vehicle sales finished the year at 20.5 million units, up 4.5% for the year.

Shares of Tesla higher in pre-market trading on Tuesday after it was announced the EV maker sold 70,602 cars in China during December. This marks a 34% sequential rise in sales, according to Bloomberg data, and a record sales month for Elon Musk’s automaker in China. 

The overall rise in vehicles sales for 2021 in China comes after a torrid November, where we noted weeks ago that sales fell for the seventh straight month in November. Sales were down 9.1% from the year prior as the industry continued to struggle with what is now becoming a year’s long semiconductor shortage. 

The country posted total sales of 2.52 million vehicles in November, once again led by sales of new energy and electric vehicles.

CAAM spokesperson Chen Shihua commented last month: “Consumer acceptance of new energy vehicles continues to rise. The market has shifted from policy-motivated to demand-driven.”

Recall, we wrote in September that the heads of many auto manufacturers have suggested that the semi shortage “may not just disappear” in 2022.

Volkswagen Chief Executive Officer Herbert Diess said on Bloomberg TV in September: “Probably we will remain in shortages for the next months or even years because semiconductors are in high demand. The internet of things is growing and the capacity ramp-up will take time. It will be probably a bottleneck for the next months and years to come.”

Ola Kallenius at Daimler and Oliver Zipse of BMW also added to the pessimism. Kallenius said that the shortage “may not entirely go away” in 2022, according to Bloomberg. Zipse said there could be another 6 to 12 months left in the shortage.


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