China to expand parallel auto imports


File photo: CGTN

BEIJING, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- China has decided to expand a pilot program of parallel auto imports to offer customers more choices and further open up its auto industry.

Authorized whole-vehicle automobile imports ports whose annual car imports top 1,000 units can apply to enjoy parallel auto imports policies, according to a guideline released by the Ministry of Commerce and six other government agencies.

Each provincial region should have no more than five pilot enterprises in principle, the guideline said.

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

China started the pilot program in 2014, and now has 17 regions conducting parallel auto imports.

Firms involved in the program have imported 418,000 cars by the end of July, and most of the imported middle and high-end vehicles saw their prices down by at least 15 percent. These imports include over 200 car models, more than 50 of which are new to the Chinese market.