China's automobile imports more than doubled to 29,000 units in the first two months of this year at lower import costs, the General Administration of Customs said on Tuesday.
Shipments through the Huangpu Customs of Guangdong, a bustling coastal province in south China, reached 4,903 units, a 1.2 fold increase over the previous year, the agency said in a monthly report.
The import of sedans and off-road vehicles with a displacement of more than 2,500 milliliters surged 90 percent to 3,211 units, accounting for nearly two-thirds of the total.
Customs officials say lower auto tariffs, which were phased in as a commitment by the government to the World Trade Organization, and the drop in import costs, caused by the rising value of the renminbi, contributed to the surge.
Additionally, auto dealers rushed to import products to save costs ahead of a possibly sharp rise in auto consumption tax.
(Xinhua News Agency March 15, 2006)