Business / Auto Data

China auto sales down 0.9% in February

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-03-10 15:07

BEIJING - Auto sales in China, the world's biggest auto market, fell 0.86 percent year on year to 1.58 million units in February, compared with a 7.7-percent gain recorded in January, data from an industry association showed Thursday.

Sales of passenger cars decreased 1.5 percent to 1.38 million last month, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) website.

Sales are traditionally distorted by the effect of the Lunar New Year holiday, which fell in February this year.

Consumers usually buy vehicles ahead of New Year, which leads to a spike in sales in January and a slump in February.

Vehicle output stood at 1.61 million last month, down 1.3 percent year on year.

Sales of major foreign brands fell markedly in February with Japanese and French carmakers leading the declines.

Auto sales rose 4.4 percent to 4.1 million units during the first two months of the year.

New-energy vehicles continued to gain popularity. Sales of pure electrics nearly tripled year on year to near 25,000 in the first two months. The number of hybrid cars sold during the same period stood at 10,891 units, up 68.5 percent year on year.

Chinese auto sales growth peaked at 45 percent in 2009 and has fallen steadily as cities try to control smog and congestion with limits on new vehicles.

Auto makers sold 24.6 million vehicles in China in 2015, up 4.7 percent. It was the smallest increase in three years, following increases of 6.9 percent and 13.9 percent in 2014 and 2013 respectively.

The CAAM predicted earlier this year that auto sales would expand 6 percent to 26 million this year, with 700,000 new-energy vehicles expected to be sold.


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