BEIJING – China's auto sales shrank for a second month in May amid weak demand following a rise in the sales tax, an industry group reported Monday.
Sales in the world's biggest auto market by number of vehicles sold contracted 2.6 percent from a year earlier to 1.75 million vehicles, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
Purchases of SUVs rose 13.5 percent 715,000, helping to offset a 9.3 percent plunge in sedan sales to 839,000.
Sales last year rose 15 percent from 2015 after a 10 percent sales tax on small-engine vehicles was cut by half. Demand weakened after part of that tax was restored in January, raising it from 5 percent to 7.5 percent.
Total sales for the first five months of this year rose just 1.5 percent from a year earlier, according to CAAM.
Sales of plug-in and hybrid electric vehicles in May rose 28.4 percent to 45,000.
— General Motors Co. said sales of GM-brand vehicles by the company and its Chinese manufacturing partners rose 9.5 percent from a year earlier to 294,425. It said Cadillac sales rose 65 percent to 14,154.
— Ford Motor Co. said its sales declined 3 percent to 87,733. Sales for the first five months of the year were 436,961.
— Nissan Motor Co. said its sales rose 5.7 percent to 112,085. Year-to-date sales were 531,756.
— Toyota Motor Co. said sales rose 11 percent to 112,800.