Low-emission cars popular in China

Updated: 2006-07-08 09:37
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Economy cars with low emissions remain popular in China's auto market in the first half year of 2006, accounting for half of the top ten best selling vehicles.

Statistics from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers show that of the top ten brands, five of them were cars with emission below 1.6 litre.

Xiali, manufactured by the Tianjin FAW and popular for its low energy-consumption, kept its top position on the list of top selling low-emission cars with 93,800 vehicles sold in the first half of the year. It was followed by the Excelle of Shanghai General Motors and Elantra of the Beijing Hyundai with sales of 86,900 and 85,400, respectively.

Santana of Shanghai Volkswagen and Jetta of FAW Volkswagen toped the list for June sales, with 15,400 and 14,300 sold each.

Insiders attributed the popularity of low-emission cars to soaring oil prices and preferential government policies on vehicles with low emissions.

China has raised the price of processed oil twice in the first half of this year, raising the price by 300 yuan per ton in March and by 500 yuan per ton in May.

Experts said that the new auto consumption taxes may still need adjusting, noting that there should be more preferential policies for environmentally-friendly vehicles.

China has outlined a series of measures to guide car consumption, including the release of restrictions on small-engine vehicles in some large cities and a consumption tax on cars that consume a lot of gas.