New vehicle sales in China fell by 2.3% to 1,803,000 units in June, from 1,845,800 units in the same month of last year, according to data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

Passenger vehicle sales fell by 3.4% to 1.51m, according to the association, with consumers turning increasingly cautious as economic growth continued to slow and as the country’s stock markets went into a steep decline last month.

Many vehicle manufacturers have offered huge discounts amid aggressive marketing over the last few months to maintain volumes and defend market share. 

Cumulative first half sales increased by just 1.4% to 11,849,200 units, from 11,683,500 units in the same period of last year.  

General Motors said sales by its joint ventures in China rose 0.4% to 246,066 units in June, helped by discounts of up to 20%. Buoyant sales of SUVs and MPVs were offset by weak demand for sedans. H1 sales were up 4.4% year on year at 1.72m units.

By contrast, Toyota’s joint ventures reported a combined sales rise of almost 42% to 100,600 vehicles in June, albeit compared with depressed year earlier data when the company phased out the previous generation Corolla model. First half sales were up by just over 10% at 512,800 units.

Nissan said its joint ventures sold 93,600 vehicles in June, up by 0.1% year on year, while H1 sales rose 5.7% to 587,900 units.

Ford said its Chinese joint ventures sold 83,506 vehicles in June, 3% lower than the same month last year. H1 sales were up marginally at 543,488 units.

Honda’s sales in China, including imports, jumped 26% to 73,382 units in June and 30% to 460,918 units in the first half of the year.

Hyundai reported a 31% year on year sales drop to 60,000 units in June while Kia’s sales were 26% lower at 38,000 units.