Sales of sedans, SUVs and minivans in China fell again in November, although the pace of the decline was the slowest since January.
Auto sales dropped 4.2% last month, the 17th monthly decline in 18.
It’s the same story. Economic deceleration and efforts to curb pollution have undercut the market to dramatic effect. Despite a raft of measures introduced to jump start (pardon the pun) things, sales continue to fall. Deep discounts prompted one month of respite over the summer, but that’s about it.
Because the trade war (and other frictions) have undercut growth globally, there’s no relief from falling domestic demand. Tariffs and the popularity of ride-hailing services don’t help.
Some giant multinationals are hanging in there. Toyota and BMW, for example, are still pitching money at the market, unwilling to throw in the towel after years spent gaining a foothold through billions in investment in factories and sales chains.
EV sales are similarly beset, plunging 42% in November despite government support. Subsidy reductions in July appear to have dented the market.
And just in time for Tesla to ramp up production at Elon’s new Shanghai factory.
The November numbers mean China (the biggest auto market on the planet) will record a second straight annual decline in broad car sales. To call that “unprecedented” would be to grossly understate the case.