Sales in the industry's biggest global market declined 9.6 percent from 2018 levels to 21.4 million sedans, SUVs and minivans, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. The Detroit-based firm delivered 146,473 vehicles in China in the fourth quarter, down almost 15% from the same period a year prior.
After two decades of explosive growth, China suffered its first annual decline in auto sales in 2018, because the turmoil with President Donald Trump and slowing economic growth led consumers to postpone major purchases.
GM saw a 15 percent drop in 2019 sales from a year earlier to 3.09 million vehicles, said General Motors in a statement.
NEV sales shrank 4% in 2019 to 1.21 million units.
"Earlier, Miao Wei, China's minister for industry and information technology (MIIT), told a forum that the country would not cut subsidies for new energy vehicles (NEV) again in July, an approach which was cheered by vehicle makers".
In China, Ford makes cars through its joint venture with Chongqing Changan Automobile and Jiangling Motors. Among the major worldwide automakers, Ford appears to have been hit the hardest, with 26.1% sales in China in 2019. The latest fall, however, was slower than the 37% weathered in 2018, and the automaker said it saw its market share stabilize in the high-to-premium segment.
The U.S. automaker has been hit by the same factorS that also slammed GM's sales there.
While Ford's pricing power in China has improved, those gains have been offset by continued sales declines, which were worse than the company expected in the third quarter, the executives said.
On Monday, Ford said its China auto sales slumped more than a quarter in 2019 for a third year of decline. In total, it sold 567,854 vehicles in 2019.
The other two largest global vehicle markets, Europe and the USA, also saw constant or falling fossil sales in 2019, according to the initial trend we saw in 2018.
As China represents around one third of the global auto market, the decline in sales of fossil vehicles is a good omen for progress in the areas of pollution, climate and fossil fuel conflicts. The drop in auto sales is expected to be milder than previous year, when sales were pressured due to new emission standards in a broader economy that was both shrinking and under attack amid a trade war with the United States.