China’s 2019 new vehicle sales suffer 2nd straight annual drop

14, Jan. 2020

Photo by Vivian Chen on Unsplash
Photo by Vivian Chen on Unsplash

TOKYO, NNA – New vehicle sales in China in 2019 posted a decline for the second straight year, dragged down by stricter emission standards and cuts in subsidies for eco-friendly vehicles amid tepid consumer sentiment due to the lingering trade dispute with the United States.

The new vehicle sales declined 8.2 percent from a year earlier to 25.769 million units last year, according to data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers on Monday.

Sales of passenger cars, which account for over 80 percent of the total, fell 9.6 percent on year to 21.444 million units due mainly to sluggish sales of sedans, which dropped 10.7 percent to 10.308 million units, according to the data.

Subsidies for eco-cars categorized in China as “new energy vehicles” halved on average on June 26, also weighing on their sales last year.

Sales of such cars as electric and hybrid models dropped 4 percent from a year earlier to 1.206 million units.

The overall decline in the world’s biggest automobile market is largely attributable to lower sales of Chinese brand passenger cars, hit by the nation’s level 6 vehicle emission standard introduced on July 1, which is stricter than the European Union’s Euro-VI norms.

Those sales fell 15.8 percent on year to 8.407 million units, which account for 39.2 percent of total passenger vehicle sales, down 2.9 percentage points from a year ago, the data showed.

In the course of a move toward a quality-focused automobile market, new vehicle sales in 2019 were affected by the trade row, tougher emission controls and reductions in subsidies, the association said in a statement.

China’s new car sales posted negative growth for the first time in 28 years in 2018.