Ignore The May Head Fake: China’s Car Market Continues To Sputter

But the good news is likely temporary. One big reason why sales rose last month is that buyers rushed to take advantage of discounts. These were offered by car makers to clear inventories before new emission standards kicked in at the beginning of July for more than a dozen provinces and municipalities, including big cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, that typically account for about two-thirds of China’s car sales. Europe experienced something similar last year when new emissions rules took effect in September: Passenger-car registrations in the European Union rose 31.2% in August, only to plunge 23.5% the following month.