When trade industry officials forecast that the Chinese automotive market would grow by about 7% to 8% this year much of the rest of the industry turned green with envy. But for China, that was a severe retrenchment after years of double-digit growth.
Now, it seems, even that forecast may have been too optimistic, however. Car sales began to slow down earlier this year, along with the rest of the country’s economy. But demand in recent weeks has taken a sharp plunge as the Chinese stock market shows signs of a full-fledged meltdown.
Though it remains the world’s largest new vehicle market, year-over-year sales fell 3.2% in June, according to the China Passenger Car Association, to a total of 1.43 million. That marked the country’s first down month since February 2013.