BEIJING: Vehicle sales in China fell 3% in May from the same month a year earlier, breaking a streak of 13 straight months of gains since April 2020, industry data showed on Friday.
Overall sales in the world’s largest auto market totaled 2.13 million vehicles in May, according to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).
China sold 10.88 million vehicles between January and May, up 36% from the same period a year earlier.
A global chip shortage and soaring commodity prices are having a growing impact on automakers nationwide, said Chen Shihua, a senior official at CAAM.
But Chen said CAAM remains cautiously positive on the outlook for the industry. The industry body expected overall vehicle sales in China to increase 6.5% this year.
Sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs), including battery-electric vehicles, plug-in gasoline-electric hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, maintained their strong momentum, jumping 160%, to 217,000 units sold during the month.
NEV manufacturers such as Nio Inc, Xpeng Inc and BYD are increasing their manufacturing capacity in China, encouraged by the government’s promotion of greener vehicles to reduce pollution.
Tesla Inc sold 33,463 electric cars made in China in May.
Automakers, including Honda Motor, Geely and the Chinese joint venture of General Motors Co, reported lower sales in May.