China June auto sales down 2.31%


BEIJING: China’s auto sales fell year-on-year in June, an industry group said Friday, as a slowing economy and rollercoaster stocks hit demand in the world’s largest car market.

Vehicle sales in China declined 2.31 percent last month to 1.80 million units, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) said.

Passenger car sales alone decreased a sharper 3.36 percent to 1.51 million, according to the group.

Stock market volatility, downside pressures on the economy, and car plate restrictions in some cities were all factors in the declines, the CAAM said.

Both rising and falling share prices hit demand for cars, CAAM Secretary General Dong Yang told a news conference.

“The stock market has had a rather big impact on liquidity—cash has been flowing into the share market,” he said.

China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite Index soared by more than 150 percent in the
year to its peak on June 12, and has since plunged by almost a third before bouncing more than 10 percent in the two days to Friday’s close after government support measures were introduced.

Overall auto production fell 0.22 percent to 1.85 million vehicles in June, according to CAAM, while that for passenger cars declined 0.72 percent to 1.59 million.

June marked the second straight month that both production and sales fell in tandem.

For the first six months of this year, meanwhile, vehicle output rose 2.64 percent to 12.10 million, while that for passenger cars increased 6.38 percent to 10.33 million.

From January-June, vehicle sales rose 1.43 percent on-year to 11.85 million units, it said, with passenger cars increasing 4.80 percent to 10.10 million.

China’s overall auto sales reached 23.49 million vehicles last year, jumping 6.9 percent from 2013.

Dong said he expected the increase to slow to “around three percent” this year.

The month and half-year results announced by CAAM came after a separate industry group said on Wednesday that passenger vehicle sales fell in June, with slowing economic growth and plunging share prices denting consumer demand.

Sales of saloon cars, multi-purpose vehicles, sport utility vehicles and minivans declined 3.2 percent in June from a year ago to 1.43 million units, the China Passenger Car Association said.



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