China's passenger vehicles sales fell in the first quarter of the year, industrial data showed Tuesday.
A total of 5.56 million passenger vehicles were sold in the first three months of 2017, down 1.7 percent year on year, according to the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA).
Passenger vehicles sales only grew 1.6 percent year on year in March. Cars and multi-purpose vehicles reported drops in sales while sports utility vehicles grew 18.4 percent year on year.
The association attributed the fall to the early Spring Festival holiday, the effects of less preferential car purchase policies, sharp sales fall of ROK-made cars and sluggish consumption.
China has had the world's largest car market for eight consecutive years. About 28 million cars were sold in China in 2016, up 13.7 percent year on year thanks to preferential purchase policies and other government measures, according to the Ministry of Commerce (MOC).
Last December, the Ministry of Finance continued its preferential car purchase taxation policy but reduced tax cuts for 2017.
Growth in auto sales in 2017 could slow to an annual 2 to 6 percent, according to the MOC.