China’s auto sales stumbled sharply in May, with sales down 3%, according to industry data released by Reuters. This is the first month in a year that car sales fell in the country with the largest car market in the world.
According to data from the China Automobile Manufacturers Association (CAAM), overall sales data in the country’s auto market was 2.13 million in May. It was 2.25 million in April and 2.53 million in May.
Although no reason has been officially assigned, it is suspected that a shortage of a semiconductor chip could have a negative impact on production.
It is comforting, however, that sales of vehicles powered by alternative energy sources, known as new energy vehicles (NEVs), continued to rise and sold 217,000 units last month. NEVs are all-electric vehicles, hybrid electric gasoline and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
While local EV manufacturers like Nio Inc., Xpeng Inc. and BYD continued to flex their muscles, Tesla led the package and sold 33,463 units made in China. This is still slightly less than the 35,478 units it sold in March.
China remains the most interested market for most automakers and the push for green vehicles has made EVs even more popular here. And while there is ample scope to increase sales volumes for local and global car manufacturers, the competition is fierce.