Chinese Automobile Sales Post Negative Growth for First Time in 28 Years

Car sales in China have posted their first negative growth reading for nearly three decades according to 2018 data from the country’s peak automobile industry body.

Data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) on 14 January point to full year national car production and sales figures of 27.81 million units and 28.08 million units, for YoY declines of 4.2% and 2.8% respectively.

According to CAAM 2018 marks the first year since 1990 that China’s automobile market saw negative growth in annual sales volumes, with a particularly pronounced decline commencing in the second half of the year.

Passenger vehicle production and sales figures were 23.53 million units and 23.71 million units, for YoY declines of 5.2% and 4.1% respectively, while commercial-use vehicle production and sales stood at 4.28 million and 4.37 million units, for YoY growth of 1.7% and 5.1% respectively.

Sedan sales were 11.5278 million, for a YoY decline of 2.7%; SUV sales were 9.9947 million, for a YoY decline of 2.52%, while MPV sales were 1.7346 million, for a YoY decline of 16.22%, while

Despite the poor state of China’s automobile market last year, clean energy cars turned in a solid performance, with production and sales of 1.27 million and 1.26 million units, for YoY leaps of 59.9% and 61.7%.

Chinese brand vehicles saw a decline in their market share amidst poor market performance.

For the period from January to December Chinese-brand passenger vehicles saw total sales of 9.9799 million, for a YoY decline of 7.99%, and a 1.79 percentage point contraction in their share of total passenger vehicle sales.

German, Japanese, North American, South Korean and French auto brands saw sales of 5.0805 million, 4.4463 million, 2.4779 million, 1.1805 million and 307,000 respectively, for market shares of 21.43%, 18.75%, 10.45%, 4.98% and 1.29% respectively.

German, Japanese and South Korean automakers saw a slight YoY rise in sales volumes, while US and French brands posted marked declines.

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