Monday, March 21, 2016
Car Sales Dip to 2012 Levels
The auto industry in China started 2016 with a sharp decline in retail units sold. Auto sales are volatile by nature, so two months do not indicate a trend, but this was the biggest two-month decline ever recorded with the pace of sales declining by almost half. Viewed on a time scale the data does not look quite so awful. The current pace is roughly that of 2012 and above that of any year before 2012. Still, the abrupt decline in sales is sure to cause some hand-wringing when put together with other indications of slower manufacturing and a sluggish consumer economy. The sales reports were not all bad — sales of electric vehicles were up from last year even as sales of fuel-burning vehicles declined.