December 4, 2018 / 8:54 AM / 4 months ago

Volvo's China sales growth slows in November to lowest this year

STOCKHOLM, Dec 4 (Reuters) - Geely-owned Volvo Cars reported on Tuesday its slowest growth for the China market so far this year, adding to recent signs the world’s biggest car market is hurting due to a Sino-U.S. trade war.

Growth in China, Volvo’s largest sales market, slowed to 1.7 percent in November versus a year ago, down from 3.2 percent in the preceding month. The Swedish carmaker’s statement did not provide any further details on the China slowdown.

Shares in carmakers rose on Monday after U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed on Saturday to a pause in a trade war that has inflated raw materials costs and resulted in a slowdown in auto demand in China.

Volvo has faced a turbulent year, in which falling values of auto shares pushed it to shelve its IPO plans and retool its global factories in a bid to limit the negative tariff impact.

In October, the company had reported a nearly 50 percent fall in third-quarter income, hurt by costs from product launches and the impact of higher tariffs.

However, it said on Tuesday it had reached a new record in global annual sales as January to November volumes rose by 13.5 percent to 582,096 cars, already ahead of 2017’s record of 571,577 cars sold.

Overall, Volvo sold 56,034 cars in November, up 8.3 percent. U.S. sales grew 4.2 percent buoyed by demand for its XC60 sports utility vehicle (SUV), while Europe sales rose 10.3 percent.

Link to press release: (Reporting by Esha Vaish in Stockholm Editing by Johannes Hellstrom and Edmund Blair)

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