China auto sales fall 14.6% on year in April, 10th month of decline

FAN Editor
FILE PHOTO: Baojun cars wait for sale in front of a dealership in Lushan county, Pingdingshan
FILE PHOTO: Baojun cars wait for sale in front of a dealership in Lushan county, Pingdingshan, Henan province, China November 16, 2018. REUTERS/Yilei Sun

May 13, 2019

BEIJING (Reuters) – Vehicles sales in China, the world’s largest auto market, fell 14.6% in April from the same month a year earlier, the country’s biggest auto industry association said on Monday, marking the 10th consecutive month of decline.

Sales fell to 1.98 million vehicles, said the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

That followed declines of 5.2 percent in March and 14 percent in February, as well as the first annual contraction last year since the 1990s against a backdrop of slowing economic growth and crippling trade war with the United States.

Automakers have been lowering prices in China after the government introduced tax cuts to spur consumer spending.

Sales of new energy vehicles (NEV), however, remain a bright spot, rising 18.1% in April to 97,000 vehicles, CAAM said.

NEV sales jumped almost 62 percent last year even as the broader auto market contracted.

NEVs include petrol-electric hybrids vehicles, plug-in hybrids, battery-only electric vehicles and those powered by hydrogen fuel cells. China has been a keen supporter of NEVs and has implemented sales quota requirements for automakers.

(Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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