No moves to unveil more auto incentives


CHINA has no imminent plans to introduce more stimulus policies to help revive vehicle demand in the world's biggest auto market, according to an official with the country's top economic planner.

The National Development and Reform Commission is still studying the feasibility for measures to subsidize vehicle purchases in rural areas, said Chen Jianguo, deputy director of its industry coordination department.

"We're still looking into the issue of whether such policy is even needed," Chen said yesterday in an interview in Dalian. "It is common sense" there's no need for the same kind of stimulus steps unveiled in 2009.

Chen's comments may reduce speculation that the state will step up auto subsidies after a government official said China's Cabinet agreed last month to revive financial incentives for consumers to trade in their passenger cars to help increase demand. Vehicle demand in China has slowed this year with the economy and as consumers push back purchases in anticipation of government stimulus.

"The issue has to be studied closely, such as what vehicle types are eligible," said Chen, whose department oversees industry planning. "There's not much meaning to subsidize farmers to drive sedans."

The finance ministry said on May 29 that the government will spend 2 billion yuan (US$314 million) a year to develop alternative-energy vehicles to cut fuel consumption.

China's vehicle sales for May rose 16 percent from a year earlier to 1.61 million units, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said on June 9. For the first five months of the year, passenger car sales rose 5.5 percent to 6.33 million units.

Dong Yang, deputy secretary general of the association, said at the June 9 briefing he was unaware of stimulus policies for the automotive industry "anytime soon."

The Xinhua news agency said on May 30 the world's second-largest economy has no plans to introduce stimulus measures on the scale used during the last global financial crisis. China had in November 2008 announced a 4 trillion yuan stimulus package.

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