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As Subsidy Ebbs, China’s Electric Vehicle Sales Down by 34 Percent

According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, China’s auto sales in September were 2.271 million. This represents the continuation of a decline stream that has lasted 15 months in a row and is down 5.2 percent from the same period last year. The sales for the first nine months of the year were 18.371 million, down 10.3 percent year-over-year. In September, the national sales volume of passenger vehicles was 1.933 million, down 6.3 percent year-over-year. As the Chinese government scaled down its car subsidies, the electric vehicle sales for September was 80,000, down 34.2 percent from the same period last year, seeing a third consecutive month of decline.

In March of this year, China announced it would reform its subsidy system and limit the scope of subsidies to a few top brands. Back in 2017, the Chinese government provided a total subsidy of 22 billion yuan (US$3.1 billion) to electric vehicle manufacturers.

Contributing to the decline is the slowdown in the overall economy and the plummet in consumer confidence amid the US-China trade war. The market once expected that large cities would relax their traffic restrictions or the government would provide new subsidies to new car buyers. However, those expectations failed to materialize and the industry suffered a blow.

Source: Central News Agency, October 15, 2019