Ford Motor said on Thursday that its China vehicle sales fell by 21% in the first quarter compared with a year ago, after a tax cut on small-engined vehicles was rolled back. Ford trailed many of its competitors in China in the first quarter with Toyota, Honda and others disclosing sales increases and the automakers’ association reporting a 7% rise for overall sales. According to Reuters, many in the industry had feared that consumers rushing to buy small-engine cars before a tax increase at the end of 2016 would lead to weaker sales in the first few months of 2017. Roughly 70-75% of Ford cars sold in China qualified for the tax cut, which applies to vehicles with engine capacity of 1.6 liters or below, Ford Chief Executive Mark Fields told reporters in Shanghai on Saturday ahead of the release of Ford’s March figures.
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