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Car market down 13th month in a row

China's auto sales fell 4.3 percent in July from a year earlier to 1.8 million vehicles – the 13th consecutive monthly decline.

China’s auto sales fell 4.3 percent in July from a year earlier to 1.8 million vehicles — the 13th consecutive monthly decline, according to data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers yesterday.

That followed declines of 9.6 percent in June and 16.4 percent in May for the world’s largest auto market. The CAAM said that the downward trend was due to macro-economic factors, weak demand and some automakers slowing production.

The association earlier predicted China auto sales will drop 5 percent to 26.68 million vehicles this year.

Last year, China’s auto sales fell for the first time in more than two decades, dropping 2.8 percent to 28.1 million. In the first seven months of 2019, overall auto sales fell 11.4 percent to 14.13 million, compared with the same period last year.

Sales of passenger cars accounted for about 82 percent of total vehicle sales. China sold 11.65 million passenger cars in the first seven months, down 12.8 percent year on year.

Commercial vehicles took up the remaining 18 percent of total vehicle sales, with 2.48 million units sold from January to July.

“Car manufacturers and dealers are making promotions and clearances in July. With the arrival of some revamped and new car models in August, the passenger car market is expected to see recovery gradually,” said Cui Dongshu, secretary-general of the China Passenger Car Association.

Sales of new-energy vehicles fell 4.7 percent in July to 80,000 from a year earlier, the first drop in more than two years — compared with 80 percent growth for NEVs in June.

In the first seven months of the year, sales of green cars rose 40.9 percent from a year earlier to 699,000 vehicles.

Cui said that the subsidies for NEVs in July fell sharply, driving sales down. But Cui predicted a rebound.

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