China's Geely reports 2% rise in April sales as market rebounds

SHANGHAI, May 6 (Reuters) - China’s Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd said on Wednesday that it sold 105,468 vehicles in April, 2% higher than the same period last year, as world’s biggest auto market recovers from the coronavirus.

As global auto industry hit hard by the coronavirus epidemic, China has become one ray of hope for automakers including Volkswagen and General Motors.

Geely said in March that 2020 may be one of its toughest years yet, as pressure stemming from the coronavirus outbreak on production and sales persists, but it planned to go ahead with global expansion.

It maintained its sales target of 1.41 million units this year, up from 1.36 million cars last year.

Geely, based in the eastern province of Zhejiang, is China’s most globally high-profile automaker following investments by parent company Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd’s in European manufacturers Volvo Car and Daimler AG.

Volkswagen also sees demand rebounding in China, helped by new buyers switching from public transport and sales of premium vehicles. Its chief executive Herbert Diess said in a Weibo post that Volkswagen Group reported positive year-on-year growth in China last month.

GM’s China sales also rebounded to grow by double digits in April.

Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh, editing by Louise Heavens