BEIJING -- Chinese monthly vehicle sales rose for the first time in almost two years after the country opened up for business again, fueling expectations of an industry recovery from the coronavirus.
Automakers shipped 2 million vehicles to dealerships and stores in April, up 0.9 percent from a year earlier, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said in a statement Thursday.
That is the first increase since June 2018. However, deliveries dropped about 32 percent in the first four months to 5.67 million units, according to the trade body.
The April figure supports growing optimism that the world's largest auto market is on the mend after China largely contained the coronavirus pandemic that shut down much of its economy.
Volkswagen Group said Wednesday sales had increased in China, helped by consumers seeking to avoid buses and trains. Chinese authorities have also introduced a slew of measures to prop up car sales.