China passenger vehicle sales bounce 5% in June

New passenger vehicle sales in China rose by 4.9% to 1.8m units in June from 1.61m units a year earlier, according to data released by the China Passenger Car Association.

This followed 12 consecutive months of decline in the world's largest passenger vehicle market with domestic sentiment affected by the escalating trade war with the US while additional disruption came as vehicle manufacturers had to adapt rapidly to stricter fuel economy and emissions regulations.

In the first half of 2019 the passenger vehicle market was 9.2% lower year on year at 10.13m units.

June's market bounce was attributed to heavy discounting by dealers as they looked to clear inventories as new emissions regulations came into play.

Local analysts also noted the market was starting to come up against increasingly weak year earlier data which may flatter its performance even more in the second half of the year.

Individual companies that have so far reported their first half sales included FAW-Volkswagen which said Audi sales rose 2.1% to a record 311,871 in the six month period, including a 116% rise in import sales.

Geely Automobile volume declined 15% to 651,680 units in the first half while Chery Automobile reported an 8.5% increase to 325,000 units.

Chongqing Changan Automobile Company reported an almost 32% drop in H1 sales to 825,200 units which includes sales by its Changan plant in Chongqing and its various joint ventures including Changan Ford and Changan Mazda.

Ford said sales in China fell by just under 22% to 154,042 units in the second quarter of 2019, which also included its Taiwan sales since the beginning of the year, after plunging by 36% to 136,279 units in the first quarter.

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