(Yicai Global) May 14 -- The continued sales slide in China's car market last month was due to a lack of consumer confidence, according to a leading industry body in the country.
The sluggish market is mostly due to insufficient consumer confidence, the China Association Of Automobile Manufacturers Deputy Secretary-General Shi Jianhua said at a press conference, adding that the transition to the Sixth Stage National Vehicle Emission Standard adds to uncertainty for would-be buyers.
Chinese car sales fell 14.6 percent annually to 1.98 million units last month, having fallen 5.2 percent then the month before, the CAAM said yesterday. Auto sales fell by over one-fifth on a monthly basis for April.
China's car output also fell by close to one-fifth monthly and 14.5 percent annually to 2.05 million, having fallen 2.7 percent annually the month before.
The sixth stage standards refer to China's auto emission standards. The country is getting tougher on emissions as cars become more popular pollution increases. The final roll-out of their sixth iteration is yet to be decided.
China produced 8.38 million vehicles and sold 8.35 million between January and April, down 11 percent and 12.1 percent, respectively, from a year earlier.
Growth in the new energy vehicle sector also slowed. NEV Production rose one-quarter annually to 101,600 last month, having soared by 88 percent the month before. Sales climbed 18.15 percent to 96,800 units, down from an expansion of 85.4 percent in March.
Scaled-back subsidies and recent NEV fires also affected the consumers' confidence to some extent, said Xu Haidong, assistant to the CAAM's deputy secretary-general. However, the safety problem is expected to be solved gradually through technical progress and the NEV industry has a bright future, he added.