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China's auto sales fall in February due to holiday
China's auto sales fell in February due to the Spring Festival holiday, data from an industry association showed Friday.
About 1.7 million vehicles were sold last month, down 11.1 percent from the same period last year and 38.9 percent from January, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).
In January, auto sales posted an 11.6-percent year-on-year increase.
The CAAM attributed the decline to the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday, when hundreds of millions of Chinese returned to their hometowns to celebrate with family.
New energy vehicle (NEV) sales remained strong in February, soaring 95.2 percent year on year to reach 34,420 vehicles, according to the CAAM.
China has intensified efforts to encourage the use of NEVs to ease pressure on the environment by offering tax exemptions and discounts for car purchases and ordering government organizations to buy more new energy vehicles.
China remained the world's largest auto market in 2017, with some 28.88 million vehicles sold, CAAM data showed.
However, the country's auto market was under pressure last year from government policy adjustments such as sales tax hikes.
In October 2015, the government slashed the sales tax on cars with engines of 1.6 liters or below from 10 percent to 5 percent to boost auto sales. The tax was raised to 7.5 percent in 2017 and then returned to 10 percent in 2018.
In February, some 1.7 million vehicles were produced, down 20.8 percent year on year and 36.6 percent month on month, according to the CAAM.
About 56,000 vehicles were exported, up 11.9 percent from a year earlier but down 29.5 percent from January.
China is aiming to become a world-leading auto-maker within a decade by making breakthroughs in key technology and markedly increasing the share of Chinese brands in the international auto market.
The government expects new energy vehicle output and sales to hit 2 million annually by 2020, and overall auto output to reach around 30 million by 2020 and 35 million by 2025, according to a plan released last year.
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