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China auto sales fall again in September

Automotive sales in China continued to decline in September for the 15th consecutive month, with total sales falling 5.2% year over year to 2.3 million units, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers or CAAM.

The industry body said the decline marks a reversal of the "Golden September, Silver October" trend, where auto sales usually peak in these two months. Chinese auto manufacturers suffered a 9.8% drop in sales for September.

Notably, sales of electric vehicles recorded its third consecutive monthly fall with a 34.2% drop in sales to 80,000 units. The sector took a hit when China began scrapping part of the subsidies for electric vehicles in June.

CAAM said consumer confidence about the auto sector remains muted despite the stable growth trajectory of the Chinese economy against the backdrop of a slowing global economy and the ongoing US-China trade war.

Total manufacturing numbers also fell 6.2% to 2.21 million units. The Auto Climate Index for the third quarter released by the industry body Oct. 14 fell to 9 points compared to 12 points in the second quarter. The figure shows that the auto industry remained in the "cold zone," the industry body said, even though the overall growth of the industry improved slightly in the third quarter compared to the prior quarter.