China Total Vehicle Sales Flat in May -- Update

By Trefor Moss Features Dow Jones Newswires

Vehicle sales in China were flat in May, as surging demand for commercial vehicles offset sluggish passenger-car sales in the world's largest automobile market.

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Total vehicle sales declined marginally by 0.1% year over year to 2.1 million, the government-backed China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said Monday.

Passenger-car sales fell by 2.6% to 1.75 million last month. That followed a 3.7% drop in April, the biggest decline since a mid-2015 slump that prompted the government to slash its auto-sales tax from 10% to 5% to stoke demand.

Beijing increased the tax to 7.5% effective at the start of this year, bolstering late-2016 sales and weakening early-2017 demand, according to auto industry analysts.

In the first five months of 2017, passenger-car sales rose 1.5% from a year ago. This marks a slowdown from full-year 2016 growth of 15.9%.

--Lilian Lin contributed to this article

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Write to Trefor Moss at trefor.moss@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 12, 2017 03:15 ET (07:15 GMT)