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China auto sales set for third year of decline - industry association

By Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh
Workers work on an assembly line manufacturing Audi Q3 cars at the FAW-Volkswagen Tianjin plant in Tianjin

By Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's auto market, the world's biggest, is set for a third year of contraction with a 2% decline in sales next year, hit by a weaker economy and U.S.-China trade tensions, the country's top auto industry body said on Thursday.

The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) expects sales to slide to about 25.31 million vehicles in 2020, Xu Haidong, CAAM's assistant secretary general, said at a conference on Thursday.

CAAM told Reuters in October that 2019 sales are expected to fall to about 26 million vehicles this year, down about 8% year on year. Xu repeated that prediction on Thursday.

China's car sales fell by 9.1% in the first 11 months this year, having slid 3% last year in the first sales contraction since the 1990s.

(Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; Editing by David Goodman)