BEIJING, April 7 U.S. automaker General Motors
Co said on Friday its first quarter sales in China fell
5.2 percent compared to the same period a year ago due to a
shift in the government's tax policy and Lunar New Year
The decline comes despite a 16 percent year-on-year increase
in China sales in March.
Demand for cars in China, the world's largest auto market,
got a shot in the arm in 2016 as people rushed to buy before the
planned expiration of a tax cut on vehicles with engines of 1.6
litres or below.
That year-end spike could depress auto sales in 2017, GM's
China joint venture partner SAIC Motor Corp said
earlier this weak.
The purchase tax on small-engine vehicles rose to 7.5
percent this year from 5 percent last year, after the government
revised its outright expiry at the end of 2016. The tax will
return to the normal level of 10 percent in 2018.
A GM spokeswoman also cited the earlier Chinese Lunar New
Year holiday, which fluctuates between January and February each
year, for the drop.
Separately, Nissan Motor Co said on Friday its
China sales rose 5.3 percent for the first quarter.
That came a day after Toyota Motor Corp reported a
1.7 percent rise in China sales for the first three months of
2017, and a double-digit increase for Honda Motor Co.
(Reporting by Jake Spring; Editing by Randy Fabi)