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China expands parallel auto import pilots

Updated: Feb 2,2018 3:48 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China will expand pilots of parallel auto imports to foster a more diverse and competitive auto market.

Another eight parallel auto import pilot areas have been added to the current nine-region pilot list, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

The new pilot regions cover ports in cities in Inner Mongolia, Jiangsu, Henan, Hunan, Guangxi, Hainan, Chongqing and Shandong.

In parallel import, independent auto dealers directly purchase vehicles from a foreign production base or auto dealer. Prices for parallel-import cars are normally 10 to 20 percent lower than the prices offered by authorized dealers.

China started to pilot the practice in early 2016 with the free trade zones in Shanghai, Tianjin, Fujian and Guangdong as the first group of test sites.

About 100 pilot firms in the nine pilot regions imported 136,000 cars in 2017, up 109 percent over 2016. These imports added 30 new auto models to consumers’ choice list, and most of the mid-range and high-end cars saw price drops of over 15 percent, according to the MOC.