China's automobile imports tumbled 87.1 percent to 15,000 units in
June, according to statistics from the China Automobile Dealers
Association. The country imported 452,000 automobiles through June,
dropping 22.1 percent on a yearly basis.
"Such a decline is rare historically," said Wang Cun, director of the import car committee at CADA.
Wang attributed the slump to the latest import tariff policy changes in China, reported finance.ifeng.com.
In addition, the country witnessed a sales slump of imported vehicles
in the same month, with sales falling 21.2 percent to 63,000 units in
June and dropping 9.8 percent to 394,000 units during the January to
China started cutting import tariffs on vehicles and auto parts on
July 1, thus potential customers were holding money in June for a better
price after July. As the country started to add a 25 percent additional
import tariff to vehicles made in the United States on July 6, certain
US brands saw a sales increase in June compared with the previous month,
Foreign brands except Mitsubishi, whose sales stem mainly from
parallel import, posted weak sales in June, with Land Rover, Ford, Volvo
and BMW the hardest hit marques.
In terms of models, SUV and MPV models experienced the toughest blow
in June, with sales descending 29.1 and 42.3 percent respectively.
It is worth mentioning parallel imports also experienced a slump of
24 percent to 59,500 units in the first half of the year, according to a
report from China Economic Net.
"Parallel import has been a strong driving force for the country's
automobile imports in the past three years," Wang said, "and June's
decline was due to trader risk control facing import tariff reduction."
When talking about tariff policies' effects on the whole year, Wang
said under the shadow of China-US trade tensions, 80 percent of import
models would enjoy 15 percent import tariffs in the second half of the
year, while the other 20 percent would be taxed at 40 percent.
For example, automakers with plants only built in the United States
would transfer tariff pressure onto customers, inevitably reducing
product competitiveness. Those enterprises with multiple plants
worldwide, such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW, may witness slight price
"The brand structure of imported vehicles in China may witness obvious changes," the director said.