发布者: chrislau2001 | 发布时间: 2008-11-20 18:17| 查看数: 1682| 评论数: 1|

Some of China's auto manufacturers, hit by slower sales growth in their once-booming home market, are pushing the government to take steps to boost demand for cars, especially small ones.

The requests follow Beijing's announcement this month of a four trillion yuan ($586 billion) economic-stimulus package to fuel consumer spending and revive flagging growth amid the global economic downturn. Other Chinese industries are also seeking government assistance or largess. The state-owned airlines, for example, have requested hundreds of millions of dollars in government funds to help them survive a continuing slump.

The Chinese car makers, many of which are at least partly government-owned, aren't looking for the kind of financial bailout that Detroit's Big Three are seeking from Washington. Instead, they are mainly asking for lower taxes on sales of cars with smaller engines or more environmentally friendly technology, to stimulate more new purchases, auto executives said.

Despite the economic climate, passenger-car sales rebounded in October, rising 11% from a year earlier. But analysts caution against making too much of a single month's data, especially as it follows sales declines of about 6% in August, and about 2% in September. For the first 10 months of 2008 as a whole, sales grew about 10% -- robust, but far slower than last year's 21% rise or the 30% growth China's car market experienced in 2006.

To help car makers and consumers, analysts argue that China's government could move to lower state-set fuel prices now that world oil prices have declined sharply from their levels earlier this year. At least part of that reduction, however, could be offset by a new fuel tax, to encourage purchases of more fuel-efficient cars. Chinese officials said no decision has been made yet.

High gasoline prices -- roughly $3 a gallon in China, compared with about $2 a gallon in the U.S. -- have discouraged many potential car buyers, auto companies say. A price drop could help change consumers' minds.

Chen Bin, director of the industry division of the National Development and Reform Commission, which sets China's industrial policy, said the government isn't looking at providing funding for auto makers. 'What we can do is about market demand, to boost domestic demand,' he said. Mr. Chen declined to discuss what specific measures the government is considering, saying officials are 'studying' their options.

China's car industry as a whole remains healthy. According to figures collected by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, for the first eight months of 2008, combined profits at 19 of the country's biggest vehicle companies rose by 25% from a year earlier.

The downturn in car sales isn't affecting all manufacturers equally. Chery Automobile Co., one of the largest domestic manufacturers, saw sales fall 40% in September from a year earlier, while its October sales slid 6%. But at BYD Auto Co., which recently introduced a new small car, September sales were nearly three times those of a year earlier. That could make government policy makers' decisions more difficult.

So far, auto executives have said, companies have been asking for tax breaks that would help boost sales of cars with small engines, a part of the market where domestic manufacturers have been more competitive. China levies a tax of roughly 8.6% of a car's taxable price, which is calculated based on the retail price and the size of the engine, among other variables. Cars with larger engines are taxed more heavily.

'Sales of small cars have dropped significantly,' said Jin Yibo, spokesman for Chery. 'We think there's an urgent need for government support' to stimulate demand, he said. Sales of Chery's subcompact QQ fell 47% in September.


chrislau2001 发表于 2008-11-20 18:17:24



Associated Press









轿车销售低迷对各厂家的影响并不完全相同。中国国内最大的轿车制造商之一奇瑞汽车(Chery Automobile Co.) 9月份的销量比上年同期下降了40%,10月份的销量下滑了6%。但不久前刚推出新款小型轿车的比亚迪(BYD Auto Co.) 9月份的销量则是上年同期的近3倍。这可能令政府的政策制定者更难以做出决定。


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