After reports of falling car sales in Europe and America, sales in China are in decline, too.
According to the latest figures from the Chinese Association of Automobile Manufacture, sales in August fell by 6.24 per cent year-on-year to 450,000, with September’s volumes declining by 1.44 per cent to 550,000.
The news is particularly unwelcome for the car manufacturers which are pinning their hopes on beating the global recession by concentrating on sales expansion in developing markets.
Car ownership in China has boomed over the last decade, with sales growing by more than 20 per cent year-on-year, and the country is now the second-largest market in the world for new car sales, after the United States. 3.6 million cars were registered in the country during the first half of the year.
According to analysts in China, the sales decline is due to both the rising oil price and a changes to Chinese company car tax.
The country’s consumers have been historically reluctant to buy smaller vehicles, and recent cuts in the tax rate on the purchase of sub-1.0-litre cars has failed to excite buyers. Just 7.6 per cent of cars sold in China fall into this category.