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China car sales slip in May

By Li Fusheng | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-06-13 17:32

China sold 2.09 million cars in May, a 0.1 percent decline from the same month last year, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

In the first five months this year, 11.18 million cars were sold in the world's largest auto market, a 3.7 percent growth year-on-year.

Passenger car sales totaled 9.42 million units in that same period, edging 1.5 percent year-on-year. Statistics show that the growth was thanks to SUVs, whose sales rose 17.1 percent, while sedans, MPVs and minivans fell by 3 percent to 25.7 percent.

Chen Shihua, an assistant to CAAM's secretary-general, said the popularity of SUVs will continue up until at least 2019, and their sales are expected to reach the level of sedans this year.

In the first five months of 2017, 4.51 million sedans were sold while SUV sales reached 3.78 million units.

New energy vehicles stood as a stark contrast to gasoline ones. In May, 45,000 electric cars, plug-hybrids and fuel cell cars were sold, a 28.4 percent surge from May 2016. That brought this year's new energy car sales to 136,000 units, a 7.8 percent growth year-on-year.

CAAM estimated earlier this year that their sales could hit 800,000 units in 2017. Xu Haidong, another assistant to the organization's secretary-general, said the organization is confident in the market and will not alter the estimate. China sold 507,000 new energy vehicles last year, ranking first worldwide.

Passenger cars from Chinese brands seized a 44.4 percent share of the Chinese market, followed by German, Japanese, US, South Korean and French car brands.

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