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China's auto market still sluggish in May

By Wang Junwei | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-06-13 15:06
Visitors take a look at a SUV model of WM Motor during an auto expo in Qingdao, East China's Shandong province, May 8, 2019. [Photo/IC]

China's vehicle outputs and sales continued to drop in May, according to data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers on Wednesday.

China produced 1.85 million vehicles last month, a decrease of 21.2 percent year-on-year, while sales reached 1.91 million units, down 16.4 percent compared with a year earlier.

From January to May this year, the country's auto market saw a 13 percent decline both in production and sales compared with last year, which stood at 10.24 million units and 10.27 million units, respectively.

The sluggish performance of the motoring industry could be attributed to the downward pressure on the macro economy and the earlier implementation of the Nation VI emission standards in some regions, according to CAAM.

"Most consumers have a wait-and-see mood for the upcoming Nation VI emission standards, so the car market is expected to pick up in the second half of this year", said Shi Jianhua, deputy secretary-general of the CAAM in Economic Information Daily's report.

The country's new energy vehicles market, on the other hand, still experienced growth both in production and sales, recording year-on-year increases of 16.9 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively, to 112,000 units and 104,000 units in May.

The sector's outputs and sales, however, saw slowing growth compared with the 25-percent and 18.1-percent increases in April. Insiders said it was unrealistic to pursue sustained high-speed growth as the market increasingly matures and begins to take shape.

At the same time, with gradually enriched NEV technology, the sales mix of the market will also show a more diversified trend, according to the newspaper.

In the first five months, the production and sales of fuel cell vehicles totaled 553 units and 545 units, respectively, an increase of 476 percent and 478.8 percent over the same period of the last year.

The substantial increase of fuel cell vehicles may help NEV sales return to rapid growth, said industry experts.

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