• China November car sales hit record high: industry group

    2015-12-18 10:59:00
    Auto sales in China, the world's largest car market, jumped to a record high in November, an industry group said Thursday, as a vehicle purchase tax cut by the government boosted demand.

    A total of 2.51 million vehicles were sold in the country last month, up 20.0 percent from a year ago and the highest monthly figure ever, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said in a statement.

    November was the third straight month that sales increased. The country's car sales had previously fallen for five months through August as the world’s second-biggest economy suffers a growth slowdown.

    To prop up the auto industry, the government cut purchase taxes by half on passenger cars with small engines from October 1.

    Bloomberg News reported Wednesday the government was considering subsidies for rural residents to buy cars with engines smaller than 1.6 litres, restoring an incentive introduced for two years in 2009 during the global financial crisis.

    Despite the strong growth, auto sales in January-November rose just 3.3 percent year-on-year to 21.79 million vehicles, much weaker than the increase of 6.1 percent in the same period of 2014.

    China's auto industry has felt the pinch of the country's slowing economic growth, with producers scaling back output and media reports of unusually long holidays at factories, decreased bonuses and overtime pay for workers.

    Growth in 2014 hit a 24-year low of 7.3 percent and expansion has slowed further this year, weakening to 6.9 percent in the July-September period.

    Overall car sales reached 23.49 million units last year, up 6.9 percent from 2013.

    Source: AFP
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