Chinese automobile sales decline for the 14th time in 15 months

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Chinese auto sales fell for the 14th time in 15 months, extending what’s already been a historically prolonged slump in the world’s largest car market, reported Bloomberg.

Sales of sedans, sport utility vehicles, minivans and multipurpose vehicles in August fell 9.9% from a year earlier to 1.59 million units, the China Passenger Car Association said Monday.

Automakers reeling from the industry’s longest downturn in three decades continue to face headwinds as the economy slows and trade tensions with the US persist. To help stimulate demand, China has rolled out a series of supportive measures to encourage consumption — the latest one coming last month, when the government issued guidelines to loosen car-purchase restrictions.

But the slide continues, battering carmakers’ earnings. Top Chinese SUV-maker Great Wall Motor Co. saw first-half profit tumble 59% and the country’s biggest automaker, SAIC Motor Corp., recently cut its sales forecast by predicting its first annual sales decline in at least 14 years. Billionaire Li Shufu’s Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. saw sales fall 19% in August.