The stagnation of the Chinese car market has continued in the second quarter of 2019, with double digit declines in April and May, and an 8,3% loss in June, which market the 12th consecutive month of declines. In the first half of the year, just under 10 million new passenger cars were delivered to Chinese dealers, nearly 15% fewer than in the same period last year. These figures exclude commercial vehicles, minivans and imported cars. In the short term, the Beijing government is not planning any incentives to prop up the market, and in fact is sharply reducing subsidies on one of the fastest growing segments of the Chinese car market: that of EVs and plug-in hybrids. Rather, the government seems to see this market contraction as an excellent opportunity to consolidate the market as (too) small players will be forced to close down or be taken over, while the larger state-owned carmakers also feel extra pressure to merge their operations and cut loss-making domestic brands. Also, China’s central government has pressured most major cities and provinces to adopt State 6 emissions rules (which are similar to the Euro 6 standards) on July 1. This caused local dealerships to offer steep discounts on vehicles that don’t meet these standards. The upside of this is that by now most dealerships have reduced their inventory so there’s hope that the second half of the year will be a whole new ballgame.