China's auto sales may fall 10 per cent this year with the end of government stimulus policies and restrictions on car licences, according to the China Automotive Technology and Research Centre. Industrywide vehicle deliveries fell for the first time in 27 months in April, as the government raised fuel prices, cities implemented controls to curb traffic and Japan's record earthquake slowed deliveries. Total auto sales declined 0.25 per cent to 1.55 million units, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. "The exit of stimulus policies was abrupt, judging from the current effects," said Zhao Hang, president of the centre, which assists the government in formulating auto industry standards and policy research. Phasing out "The slowdown was due to the phase-out of government stimulus policies and measures to tackle traffic jams," he said in an interview in Beijing yesterday. Zhao's forecast for industry sales to decline contrasts with a forecast for growth to trail the nation's gross domestic product by the manufacturers association. The government's official target is for 8 per cent economic growth this year.