China’s new-vehicle market downturn extends; EV sales slip for 3rd straight month


China’s new-vehicle market has contracted for the 15th straight month, with sales declining 5.2 percent from a year earlier to 2.27 million in September, as the nation’s weakening economy continues to weigh on light vehicle demand. 

Last month, new light-vehicle deliveries slipped 6.3 percent to around 1.93 million, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. 

Weak light-vehicle demand wiped out mild gains in sales of new commercial vehicles. 

In the month, deliveries of new commercial vehicles, including buses and trucks, gained 1.9 percent to around 340,000.

For the first nine months, new-vehicle sales in China dropped 10 percent from a year earlier to approach 18.4 million.  

In the period, new light-vehicle deliveries fell 12 percent to roughly 15.25 million while new commercial-vehicle sales dipped 3.4 percent to 3.12 million.  

Demand for electrified vehicles slumped for the third straight month, after Beijing completed a new round of subsidy cuts for EVs and plug-in hybrids on June 25 with the goal to phase out the subsidy program by the end of 2020. 

Last month, aggregate sales of full-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids plunged 34 percent to approximately 80,000. The number includes some 63,000 EVs and around 17,000 plug-in hybrids. 

For the first three quarters, total sales of electrified vehicles in China still jumped 21 percent to roughly 872,000. The tally includes some 692,000 EVs, 179,000 plug-in hybrids and 1,251 fuel cell vehicles.  

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