Biz / Auto

China car market continues to weaken

Hu Yumo
Auto sales in August were down 6.9 percent, marking the 14th month of decline, and industry association predicts more pressure ahead.
Hu Yumo

China’s auto sales fell 6.9 percent in August from a year earlier to 1.96 million vehicles — the 14th consecutive monthly decline — according to data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) on Wednesday.

That followed declines of 4.3 percent in July and 9.6 percent in June for the world’s largest auto market. The CAAM said that the downward trend is due to macro-economic factors and weak consumer demand. Overall auto sales declined 11 percent, to 16.1 million vehicles, in the first eight months compared with the same period last year.

Based on sales and production figure for the year-to-date, downward pressure on the auto industry is substantial. The association said the Ministry of Commerce is conducting research and gathering opinions from auto companies and discussing policies and measures which will be released at a proper time. 

In July, the association predicted China auto sales will drop 5 percent to 26.68 million vehicles this year. It expects sales of new-energy vehicles to increase at a slower pace to 1.5 million, down from a previous forecast of 1.6 million.

Sales of new-energy vehicles fell for a second month in a row due to declining government subsidies, the association said. In August, green car sales lost 15.8 percent to 85,000 units. 

Last month, electric vehicles declined 6 percent year-on-year to 69,000 units. Sales of plug-in hybrids dropped 41.3 percent to 16,000 vehicles.

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