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China's car sales surged in February

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By Yoko Kubota

BEIJING -- China's car sales surged in February from a year earlier when the country was at the height of the coronavirus pandemic and consumers were locked down in their homes.

Retail sales of passenger cars last month more than quadrupled to 1.18 million vehicles compared with the year before, the China Passenger Car Association said Tuesday. The jump reflects the low sales during the same period last year. Sales plummeted 79% in February 2020 as many cities were locked down and factories and dealerships were shut.

In February, 97,000 electric cars were sold, CPCA said. That is a more-than-sevenfold increase from a year earlier, but represents a 38% decline on month. Tesla Inc. sold 18,318 Shanghai-made Model 3s and Model Ys last month, the group's data showed.

Since last year, China has been offering various subsidies and incentives to help boost car sales and mitigate the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. In recent months, Chinese regulators have announced more measures, including further relaxing vehicle-purchase restrictions and building more charging facilities for electric cars.

Raffaele Huang contributed to this article.

Write to Yoko Kubota at yoko.kubota@wsj.com

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