BEIJING – China sold 24.72 million passenger cars in 2017, recording a rise of 1.4 percent, its slowest rate of growth in over 20 years, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said on Thursday.
Total auto sales (including trucks and buses) reached 28.88 million units last year, 3 percent more than in 2016.
The sale of electric and hybrid vehicles grew by 53.3 percent to 777,000 units, owing to government incentives aimed at fighting growing pollution in Chinese cities.
Electric vehicle sales alone rose 82.1 percent to 468,000 units.
In 2017, China manufactured a total of 24.8 million vehicles, 1.6 percent more than in 2016, and including trucks and buses the figure rose to 29 million, a 3.2 percent jump over 2016.
The slow growth of auto sales in China in 2017 sharply contrasts with the 15 percent growth in sales recorded a year earlier and was partly due to a partial withdrawal by the government of tax incentives for vehicles with 1.6 liter engines or smaller.
The purchase tax on such vehicles was reduced from 10 percent to 5 percent to boost the market at a moment of economic slowdown, but in January 2017, it was raised to 7.5 percent, and in 2018, it has been revised to the initial figure of 10 percent.