China auto sales fall again in 2019

Andrew Cummings
January 14, 2020

NEV sales for 2020 would likely "stay at the same level or slightly increase" versus past year, Xu said.

After a three-month transition period that ended on June 25 previous year, local governments stopped subsidizing purchases of NEVs other than new energy buses and fuel cell vehicles, resulting in sharper declines of NEVs sales in the latter half of 2019.

Global carmakers have been cautious with their predictions after cutting production, shutting factories and firing staff past year.

auto sales in China fell for a second year in 2019 when a trade war with Washington and an economic slowdown weakened consumer concerns and demand for electric vehicles, an industry group reported Monday.

China's auto market is set to contract by 2% in 2020 for the third year of decline, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) forecast, due to a weaker economy and trade dispute with the United States.

"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 U.S. automaker reported a 15 per cent drop in 2019 China sales.

The company sold a total of 567,854 vehicles in 2019.

Ford has been struggling to revive sales in China since its business began slumping in late 2017.

The auto maker has been cutting costs, working to mend ties with its dealers and rolling out new models, including the Focus Active crossover sport-utility vehicle and an electric SUV, Ford executives said in October. In the fourth quarter of 2019, Ford's sales dropped 14.7%.

Annual industry auto sales in China fell in 2019 for the first time since the 1990s, and they are expected to fall this year, too.

After two decades of explosive growth, Chinese auto sales fell 4.1 percent in 2018 as unease over the tariff war with President Donald Trump and slowing economic growth prompted consumers to put off big purchases. Ford and General Motors Co. have been among the hardest hit-along with local companies-while German and Japanese brands have grabbed more market share. It said it would improve its product lineup with "more customer-centric products and customer experiences to mitigate the external pressure and improve dealers' profitability", according to Anning Chen, who heads Ford's China business.

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