China auto sales fall 14.6pc on year in April, 10th month of decline

Published: May 13, 2019 12:38:05 | Updated: May 17, 2019 13:17:10

Workers walk among the newly arrived imported Toyota cars at the Shenzhen Dachan Bay Terminals in Guangdong province, China on April 10, 2019 — Reuters/Files

Vehicles sales in China, the world’s largest auto market, fell 14.6 per cent in April from the same month a year earlier, the country’s biggest auto industry association said on Monday, marking the 10th consecutive month of decline.

Sales fell to 1.98 million vehicles, said the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

That followed declines of 5.2 per cent in March and 14 per cent in February, as well as the first annual contraction last year since the 1990s against a backdrop of slowing economic growth and crippling trade war with the United States, reports Reuters.

Automakers have been lowering prices in China after the government introduced tax cuts to spur consumer spending.

Sales of new energy vehicles (NEV), however, remain a bright spot, rising 18.1 per cent in April to 97,000 vehicles, CAAM said.

NEV sales jumped almost 62 per cent last year even as the broader auto market contracted.

NEVs include petrol-electric hybrids vehicles, plug-in hybrids, battery-only electric vehicles and those powered by hydrogen fuel cells. China has been a keen supporter of NEVs and has implemented sales quota requirements for automakers.

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