China's automobile market, the largest in the world, contracted in May as sales declined for the second consecutive month by 4.55 percent to 1.9 million units, according to official data released on Wednesday.
On a yearly basis, sales volume also edged down 0.4 percent , according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers which attributed the drop in May mainly to a large fall in passenger car sales.
Auto output stood at 1.96 million in May, down 5.56 percent from April, or 0.58 percent from the same period last year.
Sales declined in May for the second consecutive month by 4.55 percent month on month to 1.9 million units. The auto market began to contract in April, as sales declined 11 percent month on month to 1.99 million units, while output reduced 8.9 percent from March to 2.08 million, reversing increases in March.
Taken together, in the first five months sales in the world's largest auto market rose by 2.11 percent year on year, reaching 10.05 million units and output rose 3.18 percent to 10.24 million.
But growth rates for sales and output during the January- May period decelerated by 6.86 and 6.19 percentage points respectively from the same period last year, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Passenger car sales last month fell 3.57 percent from April to 1.61 million units. Among them, sales of Chinese brands tumbled 7.77 percent month on month to 633,100 units in May, accounting for 39.34 percent of the total.
Sales of German brands, which account for the lion's share of the market among foreign auto makers, dipped to 307,600 units last month, accounting for 19.11 percent of the total.
Multi-purpose vehicle sales in May plunged 15.88 percent from April to 140,500 units. Overcapacity, fierce competition and purchase quota policies in first-tier cities were to blame for the auto market contraction, Liu Weidong, vice general manager of Dongfeng Motor Corp said at a forum in Chongqing today.