China: Automobile sales fall again in May image

After a continuing downturn in sales in April, the Chinese automobile industry fell back even further in May. Monthly sales of passenger cars, which totaled just over 850 thousand units, fell 11 percent from April, and was 1 percent lower than last May’s figure.

Li Xin, analyst for the Distribution Productivity Promotion Center of China Commerce, believes that the fall in sales is due not only to the phasing out of preferential purchase policies, but also the recent vehicle purchase restrictions introduced in large cities nationwide. Additionally, he puts some of the blame to the bleak condition of the economy overall.

“The car industry has developed too quickly, so that whether it is transportation planning or fuel needs, they aren’t able to catch up,” Mr. Li said.

In line with the current Five-Year Guideline, a nationwide economic directive having begun this year, the industry aims to achieve sales of 25 million vehicles in 2015, with some analysts having previously forecast sales that year reaching as high as 40 million units. However due to the recent downturn in sales, those targets seem very distant now, with this year’s goal of 20 million even looking very tough to achieve.

By Carmen Lee From