Year-on-year Declines in Chinese Automobile Production and Sales Escalates in August
COVID-19 and China
Teal coupe car. Image credit: Caleb Woods/Unsplash

China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) released automobile production and sales figures for August on September 11. Production and sales reached 1.99 million and 1.95 million respectively in August, dropping 0.5% and 6.9% year on year but rising by 10.3% and 8% compared with July.

One of CAAM spokesman said at the press conference that the pressure Chinese automotive industry was faced with was not effectively alleviated by a bit better off production and sales since July. The escalating year-on-year decline in sales has almost hit the bottom over recent years.

Vehicle production and sales over the course of the first eight months reached 15.9 million and 16.1 million, falling 12.1% and 11% on year-on-year basis, which indicates a turndown tendency for the market.

Shi Jianhua (师建华), deputy secretary-general of CAAM, said existing purchase restriction regulations were truly a sort of sloth administration, hence it would be of vital necessity to withdraw such policies so as to stimulate the automotive market.

As the dominant automobile market segment, passenger vehicle market saw an escalating decline in sales. According to CAAM, 1.69 million passenger vehicles were produced in August, while the number of sales was nearly 1.65 million. Production and sales increased by 10.9% and 7.9% respectively compared with July but decreased by 0.7% and 7.7% year on year. Scale of production drop reduced by 11%, whereas sales drop escalated by 3.8%.

Production and sales of passenger vehicles between January and August exceeded 13.2 million and 13.3 million, falling 13.8% and 12.3% on year-on-year basis. In terms of passenger vehicle models: production and sales of sedans dropped 12.4% and 12.6% year on year, sport utility vehicle dropped 13.9% and 10.0%, Multi-purpose vehicle dropped 23.3% and 22.9% and crossover passenger vehicle dropped 10.1% and 15.5%.

Since the Chinese government reduced subsidies to the electric vehicle market in July, many EV makers have been reluctant to launch new EV models due to operating losses. Affected by shrinking subsidies, production and sales of EVs just reached 87 thousand and 85 thousand in August, declining by 12.1% and 15.8% year on year.

“Despite a downturn for the EV market, we still expect the total EV sales this year to approach 1.5 million as we estimated before,” CAAM’s secretary general Xu Haidong (许海东) said.

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