Sales fell for the fourth straight month in October, according to a state industry body, bringing the world’s largest auto market on the brink of a landmark annual decline, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Chinese bought 12% fewer vehicles last month compared with a year earlier, with total units dropping to 2.38 million, the Beijing-backed China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said on Friday.
This means that total sales for the year so far are actually down 0.1% from a year earlier.
China’s auto market has been losing momentum for several months, caught up in a storm of economic threats that have dented market confidence. Whilst this is not the first time that the sector has hit bumpy ground, unlike previous slowdowns Beijing is yet to take action to energize auto demand.
“We do not advocate short-term stimulus measures. We support long-term policies that can help the industry to grow at a slow and steady pace,” said the association’s deputy secretary-general Shi Jianhua.
Passenger-car sales, a key market segment, fell 13% year-on-year in October bringing the year-to-date aggregate to down 1%. As has become common for the Chinese market, electric vehicles were the sole bright spot last month, with sales jumping 51% in the month.