China has reduced automotive import tariffs from 25% to 15% in an effort to open up the country’s markets and spur development of the local auto sector.
The timing of this lower rate could not come at a better time for Lexus, the only luxury brand in China that imports 100% of its vehicles. The ES sedan is currently the best-selling import in the country, and its success has elevated Lexus to the second-largest vehicle importer in the country. Factor in the upcoming next-generation ES, and Lexus will be well-positioned to see a significant increase in overall sales.
China imported 1.22 million vehicles last year, or about 4.2 percent of the country’s total sales of about 28.9 million automobiles.