The Chinese car market has grown steadily since 1990, and in 2009 has become the largest US market in the world. However, everything is different now in the current year. In October, China experienced a decline of 11.7 percent in sales compared to the same month in 2017. In the first 10 months of 2018, China bought 22.87 million vehicles, which was 0.1 percent lower than in the same period of year previous.
In addition, October was the fourth consecutive month where car sales in China were lower than the previous year, indicating that all 2018 could end in minus compared to 2017.
If this really happens, it will appear that the China Automobile Manufacturers Association (CAAM) has failed in its forecast, because it announced year-on-year sales growth of 3 percent for 2018.
It remains to be seen whether car makers will use November and December to improve current sales results to end in 2018 in a plus. This year's car sales in China were also negatively affected by the US-led trade war, which caused an increase in import duties on vehicles.
According to Reuters, many car dealers in the Chinese market currently offer large discounts to attract customers, while the government is expected to cut taxes on small cars to increase their sales.
Although total car sales declined in the first 10 months, electric models and plug-in hybrids recorded a 75.6 percent increase every year, resulting in 860,000 vehicles sold in January-October.