China first-quarter car sales are strongest since 2014

China first-quarter car sales are strongest since 2014

China car sales ascended 7% during the first quarter, as China's automakers association revealed on Tuesday. The strongest January-March period since 2014 set up the world's largest car market for a better-than-expected year.

Many in the industry had worried that sales would be poor during the first three months after the government dared to roll back a tax cut on small engine cars on January 1, thus adding to hopes for a slowdown in 2017 sales.

However, first-quarter surge outpaced the China Association of Automobile Manufacturer's forecast in January that car sales would inch up 5% in 2017, and the market is supposed to keep improving as the year progresses.

In March, car sales grew 4% year-on-year, hitting 2.5 million cars, as CAAM informed reporters in Beijing.

Besides this, the purchase tax for vehicles with engines of 1.6 liters or below soared to 7.5% this year from 5% last year after the government stepped in to prevent sales from dropping. The tax will surge to the normal 10% rate in 2018. 

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