China’s EV sales rise as overall market continues recovery

China’s EV sales rise as overall market continues recovery
A new energy vehicle (NEV)assembly line at a factory in Huaian in China’s eastern Jiangsu province. (AFP)
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Updated 11 September 2020

China’s EV sales rise as overall market continues recovery

China’s EV sales rise as overall market continues recovery

BEIJING: New energy vehicle (NEV) sales in China surged 26 percent to 109,000 units in August for their second consecutive month of gain, a promising sign for automakers that have invested heavily in the world’s biggest market for electric vehicles (EVs).

For the full year, NEV sales are likely to reach 1.1 million vehicles, down about 11 percent from last year, said the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) on Thursday. NEVs include battery-powered electric, plug-in gasoline-electric hybrid and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.

“The sales rebound was fuelled by rural NEV sales promotion events and local governments’ support,” said senior CAAM official, Chen Shihua.

HIGHLIGHTS

China’s auto sales rise for fifth straight month.

NEV sales grow for second consecutive month.

Truck sales significantly outpace market.

EV makers, from home-grown Nio and Xpeng to US leader Tesla, are expanding manufacturing capacity in China where the government heavily promotes greener vehicles as a means of reducing chronic air pollution.

“There was a new-car effect in August, as a new mini EV model from GM’s local venture and Tesla’s Model 3 both sold well,” said senior LMC automotive analyst, Alan Kang. “Sales at EV startups like Nio and Xpeng were stable too.” Upcoming NEV sales will be about the same as in August, Kang said.

China’s overall auto sales in August rose 11.6 percent to 2.19 million vehicles from the same month a year earlier, the fifth consecutive month of gain as China comes off lows hit during the coronavirus lockdown in the first few months of the year.

Sales are still down 9.7 percent for the first eight months of the year at 14.55 million vehicles, CAAM said.

Sales of trucks and other commercial vehicles, about a quarter of the market, surged 41.6 percent, driven by government investment in infrastructure and as buyers upgraded to comply with tougher emissions rules.


Middle East organic milk company sees surge in sales during COVID-19 lockdown

Dairy and plant-based drink company Koita Foods saw a 350 percent rise in online sales last year. (Supplied)
Dairy and plant-based drink company Koita Foods saw a 350 percent rise in online sales last year. (Supplied)
Updated 31 min 39 sec ago

Middle East organic milk company sees surge in sales during COVID-19 lockdown

Dairy and plant-based drink company Koita Foods saw a 350 percent rise in online sales last year. (Supplied)
  • Online demand for Koita Foods’ dairy, plant-based drinks soar by 350%

RIYADH: Dairy and plant-based drinks company Koita Foods saw a 350 percent rise in online sales last year as consumers working from home during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic embraced e-commerce and healthier diets.

“Many platforms are asking for our products as globally there is a big move toward buying online,” Mustafa Koita, the firm’s founder and CEO, told Arab News.

Established in 2013 in Dubai, Koita Foods’ mission is to make healthy food more accessible for families in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia (MENASA) region.

The company’s data showed that during the first half of 2020 total sales in Saudi Arabia increased by 111 percent year-on-year, with a 150 percent rise in demand for plant-based drinks, and a 140 percent growth in sales of lactose-free produce.

There has been a huge demand in Saudi Arabia recently for more organic, lactose-free, and non-dairy milk options, with sales up by around 31 percent.

Dairy and plant-based drink company Koita Foods saw a 350 percent rise in online sales last year. (Supplied)

“People are looking for vitamin D, especially when you’re looking at immunity. Immunity is now a buzzword with coronavirus,” Koita said.

Although the business’ online sales have increased during the period of the global health crisis, Koita noted that the virus outbreak had impacted on the sector.

“Seventy percent of my business is retail and grocery stores. The other 30 percent is hotels, restaurants, and catering. So, the hotels got shut down, but the grocery stores were the only thing open in the region,” he added.

In order to monitor the fast-growing new sector, the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) has put in place stringent product labelling requirements, in a bid to adhere to international standards.

“They want consumers to see and to have more information at hand. So, we’ve also updated our labels with the SFDA requirements. And we’re very excited that the SFDA is acting as the leader,” Koita said.

Mustafa Koita, Founder and CEO of Koita Foods. (Supplied)

The company already has its own strict labelling policy on ingredients. “We already have very good ingredients, such as our organic chocolate milk which is made from organic cocoa, organic brown sugar, and organic milk.”

A self-funded venture, Koita conducted extensive research into the marketplace before launching his namesake products. Via social media, he interviewed thousands of mothers in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Jordan, and Singapore to find out what they were looking for in a good organic milk solution.

When it came to production, he picked Torino, in Italy, a region known for making some of the best milk in the world. “I found out that the quality of milk depends on what the cows are eating or what is in the soil, as well as how the cows are treated, the pasteurization process, and packaging of the milk.”

He added that the land in Italy was very fertile and that cows there enjoyed a good quality of life. “They have a better view than I do in my own home,” he said.

Koita Foods’ products are sold in more than 1,000 retail outlets throughout the MENASA region and other emerging markets, with revenue continuing to grow.

“We did a lot of expansion in 2020, and I think now what we want to do is focus on doing a better job in the 11 countries that we’re already in.”

Koita added that Saudi Arabia was one of its core markets and that he aimed to improve the firm’s distribution network in the Kingdom over the next 12 months.