BEIJING -- General Motors' light-vehicle sales in China fell 18 percent in the third quarter, as the automaker was hurt by a slowing economy amid the Sino-U.S. trade war and by heightened competition in a key mid-priced crossover segment.
GM delivered 689,531 vehicles in China during the third quarter, according to a company statement. The drop for the quarter ended Sept. 30 marks the fifth straight quarterly decline for GM in China, the world's biggest auto market.
It delivered 2.26 million vehicles in the first nine months of the year, according to a Reuters calculation.
As GM and Ford Motor Co. face extended declines, the U.S. companies' share of total China passenger vehicles sales fell to 9.5 percent in the first eight months of the year from 10.7 percent in the year-ago period, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
Over the same period, German automakers' share has risen to 23.8 percent from 21.6 percent and Japanese automakers' to 21.7 percent from 18.3 percent.
In China, GM has a joint venture with SAIC Motor Corp., whic builds and markets Buick, Chevrolet and Cadillac vehicles. It also operates another venture, with SAIC and Guangxi Automobile Group, in which they make no-frills minivans and have started to make higher-end vehicles.
GM, the second-biggest global automaker in China ranked by sales, sold 3.64 million cars and light trucks in China last year, down from 4.04 million units in 2017.
Sales at GM's affordable Baojun brand dropped 35 percent in the latest quarter, while Buick deliveries fell 21 percent. But Cadillac, GM's luxury brand, posted a sales increase of 11 percent.
Industry sales in China fell last year for the first time since the 1990s, and they are expected to decline this year, too. Sales dropped 6.9 percent in August from the same month a year prior, CAAM said.
An official at the association said last month that in the next three years the industry could see "low or small negative growth".
CAAM is set to announce September sales next week.