China auto sales slump for 11th month

Business | 10 Dec 2019 6:33 pm

China’s auto sales sank by 5.4 percent in November from a year ago, putting the industry’s biggest global market on track to shrink for a second year, an industry group reported today.

Drivers bought just over 2 million SUVs, sedans and minivans, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Sales for the 11 months through November were off 10.5 percent from a year earlier at just over 1.9 million.

Total vehicle sales, including trucks and buses, were off 3.6 percent at 2.5 million.

Sales have been in negative territory every month since June 2018.

Purchases of electric and gasoline-electric hybrid SUVs and sedans tumbled by 43.7 percent to 95,000.

Demand for electrics has plummeted since government subsidies ended in mid-2019.

After spending billions of dollars to promote the technology, regulators are shifting the burden to automakers by requiring them to earn credits for electrics sales or buy them from competitors that exceed their targets.

For the 11 months through November, electrics sales were up by 1.3 percent at just over 1 million units. Earlier in the year, sales grew by double digits as drivers rushed to buy before subsidies ended.

November’s auto sales were a small improvement over October’s 5.8 percent contraction.

Sales of SUVs, previously the industry’s strongest segment, were off 7.1 percent for the 11 months through November. CAAM gave no monthly figure.

Sales by Chinese brands fell by 11.4 percent to 806,000. They lost 2.7 percentage points of market share from a year earlier to 39.2 percent.-AP


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