Manufacturing News

Light-vehicle sales dip 2.6% in May

China’s light-vehicle sales declined for the second straight month in May, slipping 2.6 percent year on year to 1.75 million vehicles.

The decline came because Beijing hiked the sales tax on small vehicles at the start of the year, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Last month, deliveries of vehicles with engine displacements up to 1.6 liters dropped 9.2 percent from a year earlier to 1.15 million vehicles. The segment accounted for 66 percent of China’s total May light-vehicle sales.

In May, strong sales of SUVs and crossovers were more than offset by falling demand for sedans, multipurpose vehicles and microvans. In the month, 714,800 SUVs and crossovers were delivered across China, up 13 percent from a year earlier.

But sedan sales dropped 9.3 percent to 838,700 vehicles. Deliveries of MPVs slumped 17 percent to 149,700 vehicles and microvan sales contracted 25 percent to 48,100.

Thanks to a relatively strong first quarter, China’s light-vehicle deliveries through May edged up 1.5 percent year on year to more than 9.42 million vehicles.

On Jan. 1, the Chinese government raised the purchase tax on vehicles with engine displacements of 1.6 liters or smaller to 7.5 percent from 5 percent in 2016.

The tax cut, enacted in October 2015, was intended to revive stagnant car sales. In 2018, Beijing plans to restore the tax to 10 percent.

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