Slowest pace for China car sales in five months image

The passenger-vehicle sales in the world’s biggest auto market grew at the slowest pace since March as the economy slows down and the government raises anti-monopoly probes into foreign carmakers.

The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers reported that wholesale deliveries of cars, multipurpose and sport utility vehicles grew 8.5% to 1.47 units in August, and that for the first eight months of 2014, sales rose 11% to 12.5 million.

Slowing car demand comes to prove that the world’s second-largest economy is taking a breather, with China’s consumer inflation reaching a four-month low in August while factory-gate prices extended their decline to 30 months. Moreover, consumers are refraining from buying new cars as they are expecting price cuts after the government’s recent anti-monopoly probes.

General Motors Co., whose largest market is China, reported earlier this month that sales in August expanded at the fastest pace in six months due to a high demand for its Wuling vehicles. The automaker’s deliveries rose 14% in August to 280,178 sold in China while Toyota Motor Corp. increased its sales by 8.39% to 78,500.

Following the government’s investigations into over-priced cars and spare parts that began three years ago, automakers like Tata Motors Ltd.’s Jaguar Land Rover, Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG have announced price cuts which, changes implemented since July.

By Gabriela Florea