This was the 15th consecutive monthly decline for the vehicle market and reflected slowing economic growth in the country and falling domestic sentiment as trade relations with the US continued to deteriorate

This was the 15th consecutive monthly decline for the vehicle market and reflected slowing economic growth in the country and falling domestic sentiment as trade relations with the US continued to deteriorate

New vehicle sales in China continued to slide in September 2019, by 5.2% to 2.27m units, from already weak year earlier sales of 2.39m units, according to wholesale data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

This data included all vehicle types, including passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles.

This was the 15th consecutive monthly decline for the vehicle market and reflected slowing economic growth in the country and falling domestic sentiment as trade relations with the US continued to deteriorate.

The vehicle market this year had also been disrupted by new emissions regulations and by the long term switch to new energy vehicles through sales quotas

At the beginning of July, 15 cities and provinces, which together account for over 60% of vehicle sales in the country, introduced stricter emission standards earlier than the central government's 2020 deadline which, local analysts said, had weakened the market considerably this year.

Also, sales of new energy vehicles - comprising mainly electric and hybrid vehicles - plunged by over 34% year on year in September after an almost 16% drop in August which the association blamed on recent cuts in government subsidies in June.

This was seen as a major setback for the government which is trying to wean the domestic market off conventional internal combustion engined vehicles in the long term with various government departments now exploring new ideas to stimulate local demand for low- and zero-emission vehicles.

Local sources suggested the central government was targeting 60% of new passenger vehicles to be electric or hybrid-driven by 2035. 

Total vehicle sales in the first nine months of the year declined 10.4% to 18.36m units from 20.49m in the same period of last year, making the association's forecast of a 5% decline in full year sales to 26.68m vehicles this year look optimistic.

General Motors and its local joint ventures reported a 17.5% sales decline to 689,531 units in the third quarter, resulting in a 15.6% drop to 2.26m units in the first nine months of the year.

Ford sales dropped by over 30% to 131,060 units in the third quarter and by over 28% to 421,000 units year to date.

Geely Automobile reported a 9% sales drop in September to 113,832 units, including 13,613 units by its 50%-owned Lynk & Co joint venture.

A total of 8,765 of its sales were new energy vehicles and 2,663 units were exported.

Cumulative nine month sales were down by close to 16% lower at 958,110 units.

Hyundai Motor reported a 16.3% sales decline to 67,000 units in September and a 21% drop to 443,408 units year to date.

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