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China vehicle sales fall 4% in October

By just-auto.com editorial team | 15 November 2019

BMW - assisted by local partner Brilliance - is one of the few foreign OEMs bucking the market trend in China this year, with China sales up almost 4% in Q3

BMW - assisted by local partner Brilliance - is one of the few foreign OEMs bucking the market trend in China this year, with China sales up almost 4% in Q3

New vehicle sales in China declined by 4% year-on-year to 2.3m units in October from 2.4m units a year earlier, the sixteenth consecutive monthly decline, according to data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

The market has been weakened significantly by slowing economic growth in the country over the last year and rising uncertainty resulting from China's prolonged trade war with the USA and weakening global demand. GDP growth slowed to 6.0% in the third quarter, according to government data, the slowest expansion since 1992. In some major cities, restrictions on registrations in response to rising congestion have also held back sales this year.

After falling by 12.4% to 12.3 million units in the first half of the year, the vehicle market decline has slowed significantly in the last several months - mainly reflecting increasingly weak year-earlier data. Sales in September fell by 5.2% and volumes were down by 6.9% in August.

Sales of new energy vehicles, comprising mainly electric and hybrid vehicles, declined 45.6% to 75,000 units last month, however. This follows a 33% decline in September and it was the fourth consecutive monthly decline following a round of subsidy cuts in June. The strong growth seen in the first half of the year has been largely wiped out, with cumulative ten month sales up by just over 10% at 947,000 units.

Sales of battery-powered electric vehicles were up by 15% at 750,000 units in the ten-month period, while hybrid vehicle sales fell by 6% to 196,000 units.