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January 24, 2020

Volume 7 Issue 8

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China Auto Sales Drop Again

Auto sales in China fell again in 2019, decreasing 8.2 percent to 25.8 million units, according to data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Last year’s decline was sharper than in 2018, when sales dropped 2.8 percent to 28.1 million due to elimination of tax breaks for new vehicle purchases. The poor performance in 2019 was attributed to the trade war between China and the United States and shaky consumer confidence.

The decline in 2018 was the first in China’s market since 1990.

Passenger car sales fell 9.6 percent in 2019 to 21.4 million units, according to CAAM’s Jan. 13 announcement.

Sales in the sedans and hatchback category – which accounted for 40 percent of China’s car sales last year – declined 10.7 percent to 10.3 million units.  Meanwhile, sales in the sport utility vehicle category – which accounted for more than 36 percent of the country’s car sales last year – slid 6.3 percent to just shy of 9.4 million units in 2019. Multi-purpose vehicles experienced a 20.2 percent decline to just under 1.4 million units, accounting for 5.4 percent of the total. Sales of pickup trucks dipped 4.7 percent to 452,000.

Sales of new energy vehicles, which includes autos powered by fuel cells but mostly consists of electric vehicles, dropped 4 percent to 1.2 million. Within this category, sales of battery electric vehicles dipped 1.2 percent to 972,000 units, while plug-in hybrid vehicle sales fell 14.5 percent, to 232,000 units.

Commercial vehicle sales dropped 1.1 percent to 4.3 million units. The association cited several favorable factors for the better commercial vehicle sales performance: a rebound in infrastructure investment, the elimination of vehicles that only met China national emission standard III, rapid development of new energy logistics vehicles, and the tightening of regulations.

cars at a parking lot in Changzhou, China

Photo: SIPA Asia/ZUMA Wire/Alamy Live News

Thousands of cars at a parking lot in Changzhou, in east China's Jiangsu Province. Total passenger car sales were down 9.6 percent in China in 2019, according to data recently released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.