China's passenger car sales accelerated 20.4 percent to 5.99
million units last year, according to the China Passenger Car
Association, but an industry expert cautions that sales may
The brisk sales included 4.45 million cars, a growth 20.4
percent year on year, 216,594 multi-purpose vehicles as well as
989,480 mini vans, the semi-official auto association said
Sport utility vehicles enjoyed the fastest growth of 49 percent
to total 341,798 units. Great Wall Motor Co, the nation's largest
SUV maker, more than doubled sales of Hover model to 51,485
The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers is due to
release official statistics next week.
The passenger car segment, the main driver of China's overall
vehicle sales, kept its rapid expansion over the past
one-and-a-half years. But the growth began to slow compared with a
25.4-percent increase for 2006 from 2005 as the domestic auto
Dong Yang, vice chairman of CAAM, said on Tuesday that auto
sales in China will likely grow at double-digit rates to hit a
record 10 million units this year after posting a sales milestone
of more than 8.7 million units last year.
In 2006, China overtook Japan to become the world's second
largest auto market, only next to the United States with sales of
7.2 million units, up 25.13 percent from a year earlier.
Rao Da, secretary general of the passenger car association,
however, cautioned against the rosy outlook.
"The introduction of a possible fuel tax as well as soaring oil
prices worldwide will dramatically influence auto sales," he
Most of the car makers from home and abroad benefited from the
sizzling car sales last year as China's economic boom raised
General Motors Corp, the biggest overseas car maker in China,
sold over one million vehicles last year, a jump of an estimated 15
percent from 2006.
"We do expect sales to grow at double digits (this year) but we
have seen some slowdown in the rate of growth in the last quarter
as the government tightened credit," said Kevin E Wale, managing
director of GM China, earlier.
(Shanghai Daily January 10, 2008)