China revives incentives for autos


CHINA has agreed to revive financial incentives for consumers to trade in their passenger cars to help increase demand in the world's biggest vehicle market, a government official said yesterday.

The Cabinet approved the plan last week and relevant ministries are working on details, such as the types of vehicles covered and amount of state funding, said the official, who asked not to be identified because the matter hasn't been made public. The government is also doing feasibility studies on funding of new car purchases in rural areas, the official said.

Government officials are under mounting pressure to revive consumer demand after the economy grew slower than forecast and vehicle sales slumped. China in 2009 rolled out a cash-for-clunkers program to counter the global financial crisis, spurring 49.6 billion yuan (US$7.8 billion) in new car purchases the following year.

Chinese carmaker shares rose on mounting speculation the government is preparing to take steps to bolster economic growth. SAIC Motor Corp climbed 5.2 percent, the most in four months, to 15.54 yuan in Shanghai. Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd, Great Wall Motor Co and Dongfeng Motor Group Co all rose above 8 percent or more in Hong Kong.

Chinese total vehicle sales shed 1.3 percent in January to April, the worst showing since 1998 when deliveries fell 1.6 percent, according to data compiled by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

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