China vehicle sales declined 8.2% in 2019

Ford's vehicle sales in China tumble for third consecutive year

Ford China Chief Executive Officer Anning Chen poses for

China's new New Energy Vehicle (NEV) policy is mainly led by MIIT, whose top official, Miao Wei, confirmed on Saturday that NEV subsidies would remain "relatively stable" in 2020. That would compare with an 8.2 per cent drop previous year, when sales were pressured by new emission standards in a shrinking economy also contending with tit-for-tat import tariffs with the United States.

Automobile sales fell a modest 0.1 percent in December. Annual sales started falling in 2018, by 2.8 per cent, halting a growth march that had started in the 1990s. We must accept the reality of low-speed development.

Sales of electric and gasoline-electric hybrid sedans and SUVs in 2019 sank 4 percent from a year ago to 1.2 million.

"Earlier, Miao Wei, China's minister for industry and information technology (MIIT), told a forum that the country would not cut subsidies for new energy vehicles (NEV) again in July, an approach which was cheered by vehicle makers".

Global carmakers have been cautious with their predictions after cutting production, shutting factories and firing staff past year. Ford and General Motors Co. have been among the hardest hit-along with local companies-while German and Japanese brands have grabbed more market share. That would still make China the largest technology market, accounting for at least half of global purchases.

"We expect the market downturn to continue in 2020, and anticipate ongoing headwinds in our China business", Matt Tsien, president of GM China, said last week as the U.S. carmaker reported a 15 per cent drop in 2019 China sales. The group gave no sales total in December, but based on other data, it would be around 2.2 million vehicles.

The auto maker has been cutting costs, working to mend ties with its dealers and rolling out new models, including the Focus Active crossover sport-utility vehicle and an electric SUV, Ford executives said in October. The automaker's been struggling in China for the past three years, and 2019 is an improvement compared with the 37% decline the company posted in 2018.

The US automaker delivered 146,473 vehicles in China in the fourth quarter, down 14.7 per cent year-on-year, Ford said in a statement. In total, it sold 567,854 vehicles in 2019.

While Ford's pricing power in China has improved, those gains have been offset by continued sales declines, which were worse than the company expected in the third quarter, the executives said.

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