China's auto sales fall for eighth straight month in Dec -Breaking – Street Register

© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: Export cars wait for their cargo vessel to load at Lianyungang port, Jiangsu, China, October 14, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

BEIJING, (Reuters) – China’s December auto sales fell 1.6% compared to a year ago, eight monthly drops in a row, data from the industry showed Wednesday. The decline was caused by COVID-19 and a global shortage of semiconductors. China is the largest car market worldwide.

Overall sales in China stood at 2.79 million vehicles in December, bringing total sales for 2021 to 26.28 million, rising 3.8% from 2020,data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) showed.

Automakers all over the world have had to reduce or stop production due to a global shortage in chips. These chips are used for everything, from power steering and brake sensors to entertainment systems.

The sales of new-energy vehicles (NEV), including battery-powered electric cars and plug-in petrol/electric hybrids, was a bright spot with strong momentum. It saw 157.5% growth to 3.52 Million units by 2021.

Only 531,000 NEVs sold in December, a 14% increase year-over-year. China’s efforts to reduce air pollution has seen NEVs heavily promoted in recent years.

CAAM reported in December that they expect automobile sales to climb 5.4% to 27.5 million by year’s end and for NEV sales growth to reach 47% up to 5 million.

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