Retail sales of new cars in China fell 10% to 1.59 million units in August, the China Passenger Car Assn. reports.
The drop marked the 14th year-on-year decline in the past 15 months and the market’s longest slump in some 30 years.
The shrinkage has overpowered government and carmaker attempts to reverse it. Even demand for electrified vehicles has slowed. That’s largely because the central government began in June to phase out subsidies—which had boosted EV sales 60% to 1.25 million units last year—in an effort to trim the number of marginal manufacturers in the segment.
Last month the government also urged local authorities to buy more electrified vehicles and ease restrictions on general new-car sales to consumers in rural markets.
Once the playground of exotic car makers, the definition of a niche vehicle has expanded to include image vehicles for mainstream OEMs, and specialist models produced on high-volume platforms.
The Lexus ES sedan is more than just an offering within the company’s lineup.
How GM, Toyota and a Couple of Gutsy Managers Made the U.S. Version of the Two-Seater a Reality