Auto sales in China fell for a 17th consecutive month in November, with the number of new energy vehicles (NEVs) sold contracting for a fifth month in a row, data from the country’s biggest auto industry association showed on Tuesday.
Total auto sales in the world’s biggest auto market fell 3.6% from the same month a year earlier, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) said.
That follows a drop of 4% in October and 5.2% in September. Car sales in the country contracted last year for the first time since the 1990s against a backdrop of slowing economic growth and a crippling Sino-U.S. trade war.
In November, sales of NEVs fell 43.7%, CAAM said, following a 45.6% drop in October. NEV sales had jumped almost 62% last year even as the broader auto market contracted.
NEVs include plug-in hybrids, battery-only electric vehicles and those powered by hydrogen fuel cells.
China has been a keen supporter of NEVs and has implemented sales quota requirements for automakers. But it cut subsidies this year and plans to phase them out after 2020 amid criticism that some firms have become overly reliant on the funds, making NEVs costlier and dampening demand.
The prolonged car sales crisis has made global car makers from Ford to PSA cut China production plans.
Geely, China’s best known car maker globally, posted a 1% year-on-year sales growth in November while China’s biggest carmaker SAIC Motor saw a 9.6% drop due to poor performance from joint ventures with General Motors.
NEV sales at both BYD and BAIC’s electric vehicle unit BluePark, in which Daimler has a stake, fell around 63% last month from a year ago.