BEIJING — China on Thursday announced a nationwide campaign to promote automobile purchases in a major push to shore up demand in the world's largest auto market.
The announcement from the Ministry of Commerce came shortly after data showed passenger vehicle sales in China rose 7.3 percent in May from April, higher on the month but far from the robust recovery policymakers are hoping for.
The commerce ministry said it would coordinate and push local authorities to roll out targeted policies and measures in favor of car consumption. Financial institutions will be encouraged to introduce measures to boost lending for auto purchases, it said.
The campaign will target multiple car sales categories including both new and secondhand vehicles, it added, and push to replace gasoline cars with new energy vehicles (NEVs) such as battery-driven cars and plug-in gasoline-electric hybrids.
It did not specify how much funding it would provide for the scheme.
The move marks the latest measure by authorities to boost spending on big-ticket items, which have bucked a tepid rebound in overall consumption after China abruptly ended COVID-19 containment measures late last year.
The government plans to extend and optimize tax incentives for NEV purchases and look at ways to promote their development, state media reported on Friday. Officials in May also announced measures to promote rural NEV purchases.