China's passenger car sales fell for the seventh month in a row last month, data from the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) showed.
In December, passenger car sales plummeted 19.2 percent from one year earlier to 2.22 million, according to the CPCA data. On a monthly basis, passenger car sales climbed 9.8 percent from November.
Annual sales in the world's largest auto market amounted to 22.4 million in 2018, down 5.8 percent year on year, the first annual decline in more than 20 years.
Fueled by the government's preferential policies to boost clean energy use to curb pollution, sales of new energy passenger vehicles maintained robust growth.
More than one million new energy passenger vehicles were sold last year, up 88.5 percent from one year earlier.
Figures released by the Ministry of Public Security on Friday showed about 500,000 new-energy cars had been newly registered a year on average over the past five years.
About 201 million of China's 327 million motor vehicles were cars, including 189 million cars privately owned, the ministry said.
Policy makers have been planning measures to boost consumption. Policies will be rolled out to stabilize consumption of automobiles and home appliances, Ning Jizhe, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, said in an interview this week.