China auto sales down 5.3 per cent as SUV de­mand sags

The Western Star - - BUSINESS -

BEI­JING - China’s auto sales shrank by 5.3 per cent in July from a year ear­lier as SUV de­mand sagged, adding to signs of eco­nomic malaise amid a tar­iff bat­tle with Wash­ing­ton. The China As­so­ci­a­tion of Au­to­mo­bile Man­u­fac­tur­ers, said Fri­day that driv­ers in the big­gest auto mar­ket bought 1.6 mil­lion sedans, SUVs and mini­vans. To­tal sales, in­clud­ing trucks and buses, fell 4 per cent to 1.9 mil­lion. De­mand has cooled amid fore­casts of slow­ing eco­nomic growth af­ter Bei­jing tight­ened lend­ing con­trols to cool surg­ing debt.

Sales of pure elec­tric and gaso­line-elec­tric hy­brids, boosted by sub­si­dies and other gov­ern­ment sup­port, rose 47.7 per cent to 84,000 but made up just 5 per cent of the to­tal. SUV sales, usu­ally the in­dus­try’s bright spot, con­tracted 8.4 per cent to 633,000. Sedan sales shrank 1.2 per cent to 815,000.

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