Automobile sales in China plummeted 11.6% in September to 2.39M units, according to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
Passenger vehicle sales (sedan, MPV, SUV and crossover utility vehicles) were down 12.0% during the month.
The monthly drop was the largest in China since 2011 and marks the third straight month of declines amid trade issues.
The Chinese auto market is up 1.5% YTD through the end of September to 20.49M vehicles.
The three-month downturn in auto sales in China is a negative factor for global automakers as well as domestic producers due to their heavy investments in China on the expectation of a solidly growing market.
"It’s very alarming and is even causing panic among some automakers and suppliers. That’s because the market has been growing non-stop every year for more than twenty years, and those companies make plans based on growth," notes a Shanghai-based analyst from research firm Automotive Foresight.
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