Preliminary figures from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers showed that new car sales in the country rose just 7.3% in 2008 – the worst year on record for the last decade – the Financial Times reported. The drop was attributed to a lack of consumer confidence caused by the recent global economic crisis. Beijing has set a goal of 10% growth for the domestic auto sector in 2009. Analysts said the number would be hard to reach without stimulus efforts targeting the auto sector. The central government is said to be considering reducing or eliminating the tax for car purchases and providing other incentives to encourage the development of environmentally friendly cars.
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