CAAM: China vehicle sales dropped 8.2% in 2019

Global automakers cautious about China's market at start of new decade

Global automakers cautious about China's market at start of new decade

Sales sank 37 per cent in 2018, after a 6 per cent decline in 2017.

Sales of passenger vehicles fell 9.6 percent year on year to 21.44 million units, while those of NEVs decreased 4 percent to 1.2 million.

Ford hopes to reverse the sales tide in China, in part, by updating its line-up with 30 new vehicles during the next three years.

The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) last month forecast annual vehicle sales in 2020 would dip 2% after an estimated 8% slump in 2019.

Alan Kang, senior analyst at LMC Automotive, predicted modest sales growth of 0.05% this year.

The country's top industry body, China's Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), said it expected annual vehicle sales to drop 2% this year and will announce 2019 full-year sales figures later on Monday.

Monthly sales of electric vehicles rose by double digits in early 2019 but plunged after Beijing ended government subsidies to buyers in July.

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Automakers in China need to get used to a new normal of "low speed growth" in the world's largest vehicle market, the country's top auto body said on Monday, as it reiterated predictions that sales will likely shrink for the third consecutive year in 2020.

Over 28 million vehicles were sold in 2018, down 3 percent from the prior year, while 2019 sales are likely to have declined 8 percent from the prior year, CAAM said.

Despite the fall, the production and sales figures at 25.712 million units and 25.769 million units, respectively, remained the highest in the world, the group said. Global automakers have been cautious with their predictions after cutting production, shutting factories and firing staff a year ago.

Ford's business in China started declining in late 2017, and the company has been trying to recover since then.

"We expect the market downturn to continue in 2020, and anticipate ongoing headwinds in our China business", Matt Tsien, president of GM China, said last week as the United States automaker reported a 15 per cent drop in 2019 China sales. Ltd. (000625.CN) and Jiangling Motors Corp. In total, it bought 567,854 automobiles over 2019.

Anning Chen, president and chief executive of Ford Greater China, described 2019 as "challenging", however, he pointed to strong gains by its Lincoln luxury brand and narrowing losses by its other brands in the final six months of 2019 as promising signs for 2020.

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