BEIJING -- China's auto market has rebounded smartly from the COVID-19 crash in recent months, especially for high-end cars, but questions about the durability of that recovery hung over the Beijing auto show that started on Saturday.
A rare industry event being held in person during the pandemic, the show marks a triumph for the world's biggest car market, pummeled from late last year as lockdowns froze economic activity in the country where the disease erupted.
However, this show will be a far cry from the usual ebullience as fewer attend, new models are scant and prospects remain uncertain.
Among the bright spots: the Chinese market's sharp bounce since April, strong demand for midsize to large luxury vehicles and a flood of investment in electric vehicles.
China's auto sales rose 12 percent in August from a year earlier, the fifth straight rise after plunging during the lockdown. When almost all residents were told to stay home in February, sales collapsed a record 79 percent to their lowest since 2005.
Guangzhou-based GAC, which has partnerships with Toyota and Honda, expects sales to grow for the full year, general manager Feng Xingya said on the sidelines of the show.
Germany's BMW expects “single digit growth” in China this year, said Jochen Goller, head of BMW China.