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October 15, 2019

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Auto woes continue as September sales plunge

Auto sales in China fell for the 15th consecutive month in September, data from the country’s biggest auto industry association showed.

Total auto sales fell 5.2 percent from the same month a year earlier to 2.27 million vehicles, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said yesterday.

That followed declines of 6.9 percent in August and 4.3 percent in July.

September and October, nicknamed “Golden September, Silver October” by China’s auto insiders, are regarded as the high season for auto sales in the country, with customers traditionally returning to make purchases after summer.

The association had previously said it expected sales in the second half to improve but that overall annual sales would fall 5 percent year-on-year to 26.68 million vehicles in 2019.

“Sales have risen in the second half but they have not hit expectations and the pace has been slow,” said Chen Shihua, CAAM assistant secretary general.

Fifteen cities and provinces, which account for over 60 percent of car sales in China, implemented new vehicle emission standards earlier than the central government’s 2020 deadline, hurting sales particularly of traditional-fuel vehicles, according to CAAM, analysts, dealers and consumers.

However, China’s new energy vehicle sales and output posted robust growth in the January-September period against the backdrop of a sluggish broader automobile sector, data from CAAM showed yesterday.

The country saw a total of 872,000 NEVs sold in the first nine months of 2019, up 20.8 percent year-on-year, while production surged 20.9 percent to 888,000 units, data showed.


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