Growth in China’s car sales slowed sharply in March, illustrating the effects of a higher sales tax on the world’s biggest car market. Sales of vehicles, excluding those typically used for commercial purposes, rose 1.7% to 2.1 million units in March from a year earlier, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said Tuesday. This marked a slowdown from the 6.3% growth in the first two months of the year. By comparison, sales rose nearly 10% in March 2016 from the previous year. Car sales in China rose at their fastest pace in three years in 2016 but are expected to cool considerably this year, as a weaker sales-tax incentive puts pressure on demand. Industry watchers have paid closer attention to the Chinese auto industry’s pace of growth, as global auto makers become increasingly dependent on the market for revenue and profit, according to The Wall Street Journal.