Auto makers in China posted sales growth that beat expectations in January and February, but the expansion was modest compared with 2016’s record-breaking levels as increased car taxes weighed on the world’s biggest car market, The Wall Street Journal reports. Sales of vehicles, excluding those typically used for commercial purposes, increased 6.3% to 3.85 million units over the period; total vehicle sales, including commercial, rose 8.8% to 4.46 million amid strong demand for more utilitarian automobiles, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. The pace is weaker than the 15% increase reported last year by the industry as customers rushed to take advantage of tax incentives that were due to weaken at the beginning of 2017. This year’s sales growth modestly outpaced the 5.1% notched at the beginning of 2016 and outstripped the 3%-to-5% growth that most analysts were predicting.
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