October 14, 2019 / 6:15 AM / a month ago

China auto sales fell 5.2% in September, 15th month of decline

BEIJING/SHANGHAI, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Auto sales in China fell for a 15th consecutive month in September, with the number of new energy vehicles (NEVs) sold contracting for the third month in a row, data from the country’s biggest auto industry association showed.

Total auto sales fell 5.2% from the same month a year earlier, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) said on Monday.

That followed declines of 6.9% in August and 4.3% in July. Car sales in 2018 declined from a year earlier, the first annual contraction since the 1990s against a backdrop of slowing economic growth and a crippling trade war with the United States.

Sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs) fell 34.2% in September, CAAM said, following a 15.8% decline in August. NEV sales jumped almost 62% last year as the broader auto market contracted.

NEVs include plug-in hybrids, battery-only electric vehicles and those powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

China has been a keen supporter of NEVs and has implemented sales quota requirements for automakers.

Reporting by Beijing newsroom, Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; Editing by Stephen Coates and Christian Schmollinger

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