China’s car sales fell for the 16th month in a row in October due to continuing consumer reluctance and changes to government incentives.
The slide means China’s once-booming car sector is well on the way to recording its second successive year of lower sales.
Vehicles sales in China fell 4% from the same month in 2018 after a 5.2% drop in September and a 6.9% drop in August.
Sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs) such as hybrids and electric vehicles fell for the fourth straight month ( down 45.6%) after the government reduced incentives for purchases of such cars. That was a deeper fall than the 33% slide reported in September.
Customers bought 1.9 million sedans, SUVs and minivans, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
Total vehicle sales, when truck and bus sales are included, shrank 0.6% to 2.3 million.
Sales of electric and gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles tumbled to 75,000. Demand has been hurt by the end of government subsidies in the middle of this year.
The slide is quite apparent from year to date data. The latest report shows sales were down 11% in the first 10 months of 2019 compared with a year earlier.
Electrics sales still are up 10.1% for the year to date, reflecting strong first-half demand before the end of subsidies but another two months of falls the size of October could see the year-end figure lower than in 2018.
Sales of SUVs, usually the most resilient sector of the industry fell 8.3% in the first 10 months of the year
The Association’s figures show that sales by Chinese brands fell 9.6% from a year earlier at 770,000 in October. They lost 1.7 percentage points of market share to 39.9%.