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China s auto sales sink in March for 9th month

China s auto sales sink in March for 9th month
Autos
Workers assemble Honda Civic cars at Dongfeng Honda Automobile assembly plant in Wuhan in central China s Hubei province on Feb. 6, 2017. (Chinatopix via AP)

Published Friday, April 12, 2019 3:38AM EDT

BEIJING -- China s auto sales fell again in March but the contraction was smaller than in recent months.

An industry group, the China Association of Auto Manufacturers, reported Friday sales of SUVs, sedans and minivans in the industry s biggest global market fell 6.9 per cent from a year earlier.

That was the ninth straight month of decline amid broader consumer malaise but an improvement over the 17.5 per cent contraction in January and February.

The slump comes at an awkward time as global and Chinese automakers spend heavily to develop electric vehicles under government pressure to boost sales.

Sales of electric vehicles rose 85.4 per cent to 126,000 but that accounted for only about 6 per cent of total passenger vehicle sales of just over 2 million.
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