China auto sales down 6.9pc in August

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BEIJING: China continued to report sluggish sales of automobiles in August, while the decline in car output narrowed, industry data showed on Wednesday.

The country sold a total of 1.958 million vehicles last month, down 6.9pc year on year, data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) showed.

In August, the country produced 1.991 million cars, down 0.5pc, narrowing from an 11.9pc decline in July, CAAM data revealed.

Both sales and production rebounded on a monthly basis, up 8pc and 10.3pc, respectively, as compared with July.

“While we did not see sharp declines in car sales and production in August, downward pressure on the industry still looms,” the CAAM said in a statement.

In August, the number of new energy vehicles (NEV) sold dropped 15.8pc to 85,000.

The slowdown in NEV sales was partly due to a cut in government subsidies for NEV purchases, said the CAAM.

After a three-month transition period ended on June 25, local governments have stopped subsidizing purchases of NEVs other than new energy buses and fuel cell vehicles.

The country has vowed various measures to boost auto consumption. A key document published by the State Council earlier this month has suggested local authorities ease restrictions on car purchases to support auto sales.

As detailed measures are expected to be rolled out soon, downward pressure on the industry is likely to be eased, said Chen Shihua, assistant to the secretary-general of the CAAM.

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