China vehicle sales fall for seventh month in prolonged chip shortage

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BEIJING, Dec 10 (Reuters) - China's auto sales dropped 9.1% in November from a year earlier, industry data showed on Friday, marking their seventh consecutive monthly fall as a prolonged global shortage of semiconductors disrupts production.

Overall sales in the world's biggest car market stood at 2.52 million vehicles in November, data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) showed.

Sales of new energy vehicles, which include battery-powered electric vehicles, plug-in petrol-electric hybrids and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, maintained strong momentum, growing 121% to 450,000 units in November backed by a government drive to cut pollution.

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"Consumer acceptance of new energy vehicles continues to rise," CAAM spokesperson Chen Shihua said. "The market has shifted from policy-motivated to demand-driven."

U.S. electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) sold 52,859 China-made vehicles in November, including 21,127 for export, the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) said on Wednesday. read more

Chinese EV maker Nio Inc (NIO.N) sold a record 10,878 cars last month and Xpeng Inc (9868.HK) delivered 15,613 vehicles. Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) said it sold over 14,000 ID series EVs in China in November.

Overall November sales beat CAAM's expectations, Chen said, pointing to the impact of falling raw materials prices and an easing of power shortages that had halted output at many factories in prior months.

He said the semiconductor shortage, however, would continue to pressure the auto industry in December, although auto demand would be steady as the economy improves.

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Reporting by Sophie Yu and Brenda Goh; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Edmund Klamann

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