Chinese auto sales fell 4% in July to 1.89 Million vehicles in July, the industry association reported on Friday, as US automakers lost market share amid mounting fears of a possible decline Sino-US trade.
However, officials at the Chinese Automobile Manufacturers Association (CAAM) said the decline was due to product problem among US automakers and had less to do with trade worries.
Ford, for example, said it was expecting difficult sales this year due to the lack of new or redesigned products.
CAAM said total sales for the first seven months of the year were 16 Million vehicles, up 4.3% from the same period last year.
The decline in sales last month followed the increase of 4.8% in June and 9.6% in May.
Car sales in China, the largest auto market in the world, have been recovering steadily since February when sales volume declined 11.1%.
The decline in sales in July was accompanied by increasing tensions between China and the United States, which had an impact on the prospects of foreign car manufacturers in the Chinese auto industry.
Ford said on Friday that sales in China dropped by 32% in July from a year earlier. For January–July, Ford’s sales in China declined by 26% compared to the same period in the last year.
The associations forecasts a general market growth of 3% this year, analogous to that of last year, but significantly lesser than the 13.7% recorded in 2016.
On Wednesday, Chinese officials announced they would enforce extra tariffs of 25% on imports of the US steel products in retribution to the news that the US would ask the Chinese 25% additional tariffs for $16 billion worth goods on August 23.
CAAM said in June to worry about a possible pressure in the second half but failed.
China increased US vehicle rates in July, forcing electric car manufacturers BMW, Tesla, and Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz to elevate prices for particular cars.