China’s Foshan city subsidizes auto sale to revive economy

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/2/17 17:18:40

People work at the Cangzhou plant of the Beijing Hyundai company in Cangzhou City, north China's Hebei Province, Nov. 15, 2019. Beijing Hyundai plant in Cangzhou, the first plant of the Hyundai company outside Beijing, was put into operation in October of 2016. By this October, the plant has produced and sold over 430,000 cars and made an output value of 34 billion yuan (about 4.85 billion US dollars). (Photo: Xinhua)

The city of Foshan in South China's Guangdong Province announced a new policy stimulus that the local government will subsidize 2,000 yuan to 5,000 yuan for every new automobile to be sold in the city.

The promotion of car sales spearheads China's local policies to revitalize auto consumption, a field which has been hit hard by the unexpected novel coronavirus outbreakin past weeks. 

According to a notice released by the Foshan city government on Monday, the city will offer a subsidy of 2,000 yuan for every new automobile sold. The subsidy will increase to 5,000 yuan per automobile if a consumer buyer buys five or more heavy-duty trucks. 

The automobiles must abide by China's latest emissions standards, the notice read. 

Foshan is the first local government in China that comes out with policy stimulus intended to stimulate auto consumption, after the Chinese central government stressed the importance of encouraging car consumption to cushion the impact of the coronavirus on the real economy. 

Up to 10 Chinese departments have recently rolled out guidelines on how to push domestic consumption growth, in which they stressed automobile consumptionbe stabilized. 

"Apart from subsidies, I think the government should think of moderately easing current car purchasing restrictions. For example, newly wedded couples or those who do not own cars should be allowed to purchase a car license plate," said Jia Xinguang, a veteran car industry observer. 

The automobile industry is one of the areas that have taken a heavy blow from the sudden coronavirus eruption.

"There are hardly any car sales in February and whole-year sales will drop at least 10 percent. The virus is making things even harder for the car industry, which was already experiencing a chill," Jia told the Global Times.

To minimize losses, car factories were among the first batch of manufacturers in China to resume work after the extended Spring Festival holidays. Japan's Toyota has resumed production in its two mainland-based factories, according to media reports. 

Tesla also resumed production in its Shanghai Gigafactory 3, restarting operations on February 10.


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