China’s auto industry is experiencing negative growth for the first time in 28 years, The Paper reported.

In 2018, China produced and sold 27.81 million and 28.08 million units, respectively, a decrease of 4.2% and 2.8% from a year earlier, data released by China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) on Monday showed.

CAAM attributed the drop to the elimination of the preferential purchase tax policy, as well as downward pressure on the economy and declining consumer confidence.

The sales volume in 2019 is expected to mirror 2018’s, said Xu Haidong, CAAM’s assistant secretary-general.