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China’s 2019 automobile sales forecast cut to 26.68 million units, CAAM

The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) recently cut the 2019 car sales volume forecast of China's auto market to 26.68 million units (down by 5% year on year) from 28 million units as sales still weakened for the first half of the year.

Based on the latest prediction, annual sales of passenger vehicles (PVs) and commercial vehicles (CVs) are projected to reach 22.44 million units and 4.24 million units, sliding 5.4% and 3% respectively from a year ago. Besides, 2019 sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs) are likely to jump 19.4% to roughly 1.5 million units.

The forecast over China's automobile market were generally whittled down compared with the previous prediction—23.6 million units for PV sales (keeping flat over the previous year), 4.4 million units for CV sales (+1%) and 1.7 million units for NEV sales (+33%).

By the end of June 2019, China's auto sales have represented year-on-year decrease for 12th month in a row. The association forecast a severer downturn than that of 2018 due to the influence from economic climate, police change and consumption capability.

For the first half of the year, China's vehicles sales totaled 12.323 million units, still falling 12.4% from the same period a year prior, the CAAM announced on July 10.

Jan.-Jun. PV sales slid 14% from a year ago, 1.17 percentage point smaller than the negative growth in Jan.-May sales. Besides, the CV cumulative sales showed a year-on-year drop of 4.1%, compared with 1.3% decline in sales for the first five months.

For the first six months, NEV sales in the country soared 49.6% over the year-ago period to 617,000 units, a bit faster than the growth for Jan.-May sales. Of that, sales of new energy PVs surged 58.7% to 563,000 units, while CV sales shrank 6.6% over the previous year affected by the overall sluggish CV market.

The rise of startups was one of the bright spots for the first-half-year auto market since some consumers' curiosity was triggered by new stuff. According to local media reports, deliveries of 7 major EV startups in China totaled 32,997 units through June. XPENG Motors took the championship with 9,596 vehicles handed over.