(Yicai Global) Jan. 12 -- Auto production and sales were both inferior last year to their 2016 performance, whereas new-energy vehicles (NEV) logged higher growth in the same period, per the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).
The Chinese auto industry's output achieved a 290-million mark, up 3.2 percent per year, but 11.3 percentage points lower than 2016. Sales were 289 million, for an annual rise of three percent, 11 percentage points lower than 2016, per data CAAM published yesterday.
China's auto industry faced certain pressures last year, CAAM said. The decrease in the discounted preferential vehicle purchase tax and the passenger car market prematurely booming in 2016 were causes, as were NEV policies the government adjusted to curb rampant fraud, which impacted NEV sales in the first half. Though the growth rate of auto production and sales was lower than the five percent anticipated at the start of last year, the high base in 2016 still augurs sound, stable momentum in the auto industry's overall economic performance.
The decrease in the discounted vehicle purchase tax slammed the brakes on the growth in the production and sales of passenger cars, and precipitated a nadir in both since 2008. Passenger car production was 248 million last year, up 1.6 annual percentage points, for 85.5 percent of total auto production, but 1.3 percentage points lower than 2016. Passenger car output reached 247 million, up 1.4 percent per year, or 86 percent of overall auto sales, 1.4 percentage points under 2016.
NEV production is maintaining a rapid growth rate, however, attaining 794,000 last year, up 54 percent on the year before, for a rise of 2 percentage points. NEV sales reached 777,000, up 53 percent per year, 0.3 percentage points above 2016, CAAM said.
The Chinese government decreased the purchase tax on low-emission emitting small passenger cars with 1.6-liter or smaller engines to 7.5 percent, while this rate -- fixed at a standard 10 percent -- was cut to five percent in 2016.