(Yicai Global) June 22 -- A turnaround in sales of new-energy vehicles was the highlight of China's auto market last month, according to national newspaper Economic Information Daily.
In May, NEV production rose 38.2 percent on the year to 51,000 while sales jumped 28.4 percent to 45,000 units, data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers showed. During the first five months of the year, production rose 11.7 percent to 147,000 as sales climbed 7.8 percent to 136,000 vehicles.
"The new-energy segment developed rapidly in May thanks to registration policies and growing consumer demand," said Xie Zhicai, an analyst at Huatai Securities.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology recently released its fifth list of recommended new-energy models, with the list expanding to include 309 vehicles, Xie added, saying this will pave the way for further production and sales growth in the coming months.
As an important part of the NEV sector, new-energy bus makers still have plenty of room to boost their market penetration, one analyst said. New-energy buses only make up about 30 percent of the total currently in service, with the figure less than 20 percent in the nation's northeast, northwest and southwest regions, data from the China Passenger Car Association showed. Sales of such buses will continue to grow as more local governments look to purchase them, he added, and both new-energy buses and commercial vehicles in general will see sales rise.