China's electric vehicle market, the world's largest, has been plunged into chaos due to a spike in new cases of Covid-19. The presence of a strict lockdown has also pushed back the production of electric vehicles in several cities. Strict lockdown measures in Shanghai and Jilin Province are forcing automakers to shut down manufacturing. This risks delaying deliveries at a time of rising global demand for vehicles.
One of them is Volkswagen's factories in Shanghai and Changchun, the capital of Jilin province which have been closed for a long time.
“Due to the current Covid situation, production at our factories in Changchun (since mid-March) and Anting/Shanghai (since April 1) is currently suspended,” Volkswagen said.
The company added that it would compensate for the production stoppage “if the situation eases in the near future,” through extra shifts and other measures. “Currently, we are assessing the situation on a day-to-day basis,” he added.
Tesla has also had the same fate of halting production at its Shanghai plant since the city imposed a lockdown on March 28. Toyota was also forced to close its factory in Changchun, according to Reuters.
Nio, a Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer, said that it had suspended production due to disruptions related to Covid-19. Nio will also delay the delivery of its EV vehicles to users.
“Since March, due to the pandemic, the company's supply partners in several places including Jilin, Shanghai and Jiangsu suspended production one after another and have not recovered… As a result, Nio has stopped production of the car,” the company said in a statement.
The Covid restrictions have also had an impact on car sales in the country. Auto sales in China plunged 12 percent in March from a year ago, reversing a 19 percent gain in February and ending two straight months of growth, according to China Automobile Manufacturers Association data.
The association attributed the decline to the recent spike in Covid-19 cases. However, Monday's data showed one bright spot: China's demand for electric vehicles remained strong.
About 455,000 new energy vehicles, including hybrids and pure EVs, were sold in March, up 122% from a year ago, according to separate data from the China Passenger Car Association.
Tesla's sales in China are very strong, ranking first among pure electric brands. The company shipped 65,814 Chinese-made vehicles in March, with most of them being sold in the Chinese market. That figure is up 85% from last year.