China’s auto import market saw steady growth in the first nine months, according to China Automobile Trading Co. (CATC), media reported today.
From January to September, imported passenger vehicles obtaining license plates totaled 246,000 units, up 16.9% from a year earlier. Vehicles imported through the Customs came to 252,000 units, down 10%, but the decline had narrowed. Of these, 35,000 and 41,000 units, respectively, were imported in September, a record month.
SUV models, with 29,000 units more imported than a year earlier, retained its lead in China’s auto imports over the first three quarters. The increase in SUV imports make up 82% of the total increase. SUVs account for 55.1% of China’s auto imports in September, up from 49.5% in January.
In the first nine months, imports of low-emission vehicles grew rapidly while those of high-emissions models dropped considerably, with imports of 3.0L and smaller models up 45.7% year on year, those of over-3.0L models down 17%, partly as a result of sales tax cuts for smaller cars.
Buoyed by a brighter economic outlook, China’s auto import market will maintain its steady growth next year, said Ding Hongxiang, the general manager of CATC, a large state-owned trade company in the country.