BEIJING: Car sales in China fell for a 14th consecutive month in August, and the number of new energy vehicles (NEVs) sold contracted for the second month in a row, data from the country’s biggest car industry association showed.
Total car sales fell 6.9 per cent from the same month a year earlier to 1.96 million, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) said yesterday. That followed declines of 4.3pc in July and 9.6pc in June, as well as the first annual contraction last year since the 1990s against a backdrop of slowing economic growth and a crippling trade war with the US.
Sales of new energy vehicles fell 15.8pc in August, CAAM said, following a 4.7pc fall in July – their first decline since January 2017. NEV sales jumped almost 62pc last year even as the broader car market contracted.
NEVs include plug-in hybrids, battery-only electric vehicles and those powered by hydrogen fuel cells. China has been a keen supporter of NEVs and has brought in sales quota requirements for automakers.
“Due to the impact of subsidies cut on new energy vehicles, sales for new energy vehicles continued to drop,” Chen Shihua, assistant secretary general at CAAM, said.
CAAM said in July it expected car sales to fall 5pc year-on-year to 26.68m vehicles in 2019.
It still expects sales of new energy vehicles to increase, but at a slower pace to 1.5m, down from a previous forecast of 1.6m.
China has been trying since January to boost consumption of a range of goods as the world’s second-biggest economy slows further amid a trade spat with the US characterised by tit-for-tat import tariffs.