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China auto sales fall for 17th consecutive month

Auto sales in China fell 3.6% year over year in November, marking the 17th consecutive month of decline, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said Dec. 10.

About 2.5 million units were sold during the month. The new-energy vehicles category, which includes battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and cell-powered vehicles, saw its fifth straight month of falling sales with a 43.7% drop to 95,000 units.

The slump in the segment began when the Chinese government in late June started phasing out subsidies to purchase new-energy vehicles.

The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, or CAAM, said the new-energy vehicle sector may record a full-year drop in registrations as sales have fallen by double-digits since July. However, the Chinese government raised the target for new-energy vehicle sales by 5 percentage points to 25% of total vehicle sales under its 2021-2035 New Energy Vehicle Development Plan.

Besides macroeconomic factors, new emissions standards introduced in July have hampered auto sales, said Chen Sihua, the CAAM's deputy secretary-general.