Sales of new passenger vehicles in China fell by 5.3% to 1.5m units in July 2019, based on dealer retail data released by the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA).

The data showed passenger vehicle sales fell by almost 9% to 11.63m units in the first seven months of the year, reflecting moderately slower economic growth in the country and falling domestic sentiment as trade relations with the US continued to deteriorate. 

The market this year has also been disrupted by new emissions regulations introduced in July and the long term switch to new energy vehicles through minimum sales quotas.

Sales of new energy passenger vehicles, comprising mainly electric and hybrid models, rose by 53.7% to 645,000 units in the first seven months of the year. 

Audi is one of the brands to have reported July sales which it said increased by 6.1% to 56,223 units and by 368,094 units in the first seven months of the year.

Geely Automobile reported a 24% drop in group sales to 91,375 units in July, including sales by its 50%-owned Lynk & Co joint venture, while sales in the first seven months of the year fell 16% to 743,055 units.

The CPCA expects the market to be stronger in August, driven by recent new model launches after emission regulations were tightened in July.