BEIJING — China’s sales of SUVs, minivans and sedans fell for a third year in 2020 as the coronavirus hurt already weak demand in the industry’s top global market, an industry group reported Wednesday.
Sales declined 6% compared with 2019 to 20.2 million, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Sales of commercial vehicles rose 18.7% to 5.1 million.
In December, sales rose 7.2% over a year earlier to 2.4 million, down from November’s 11.6% growth. Sales of trucks and buses rose 2.4% to 456,000.
Even before the coronavirus hit, demand was hurt by consumer unease about possible job losses due to a slowing economy and Beijing’s tariff war with the United States.
The downturn hurts global manufacturers that are looking to China to drive revenue at a time of flat or declining demand in the United States, Europe and Japan.
It squeezes cash flow for global and Chinese