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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Business
Tax cut rollback to sap sales growth for automakers
    2018-January-11  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

AUTOMAKERS in China face their weakest year of sales growth in at least two decades as a phasing out of tax cuts on smaller engine cars that began in 2017 looks set to further dampen customer demand in the world’s largest car market.

The incentive rollback is having a bigger-than-expected impact, with China’s automotive manufacturers association expecting auto sales to grow around 3.5 percent in 2017, missing earlier forecasts. They are predicting 3-percent sales growth for this year, according to domestic media.

Its impact was reflected in 2017 China vehicle sales numbers for several global automakers.

General Motors Co. said last week that its China sales grew 4.4 percent last year, following a 7.1-percent rise in 2016, while Ford said Tuesday that its sales fell 6 percent after a 11.9-percent rise in 2016.

Toyota Motor Co.’s sales growth slowed in 2017 compared with 2016. South Korea’s Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors have cited the tax rollback as a reason for lower 2017 sales.

“2018 will start weak — we are projecting basically another flat year in light vehicle sales. The big question is: Does the government step in with some tax breaks, incentives to keep things rolling?” said James Chao, Asia-Pacific chief of consultancy IHS Markit Automotive.

“I believe you’d have to go sometime before the year 2000,” he said, when asked when was the last time the market posted flat growth. Two other analysts said annual growth has not been 3 percent or lower yet this century.

China last year began raising the purchase tax on cars with engines of 1.6 liters or less to 7.5 percent this year from a special rate of 5 percent last year, a policy that it originally launched to shore up sales in a weakening economy. It plans to return the rate to 10 percent this year.

Such a sales backdrop meant that competition on the ground, especially in the mid-to-high end sector, would stiffen.

(SD-Agencies)

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