Sales of domestically made automobiles in China totaled 1.14 million units in August to exceed 1.1 million units for the sixth consecutive month, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) said Tuesday.
The August sales were "better than expected", as the country's auto sales continued to report high growth despite the fact the June-August period was traditionally a low season for auto sales, the association said.
The August figure pushed the country's auto sales in the first eight months past 8.33 million units, up nearly 30 percent from a year ago. The country also produced 8.25 million autos in the same period, up 26.55 percent year on year.
The latest sales figures also jumped 81.68 percent from those of August last year. Nationwide, 629,000 units were sold in August last year, the worst monthly sales for the year.
Over the January-August period, sales of passenger cars hit 6.23 million units, up 36.8 percent from the same period last year. A total of 6.13 million passenger cars were produced in that time.
Apart from the economic recovery and increased consumer confidence, the association said government policies to stimulate car purchases had been indispensable to the "steady and rapid growth" of auto sales in the first eight months.
China cut purchase tax on passenger cars to 5 percent for models with engine displacement of less than 1.6 liters in January, in a bid to counter the negative impacts of the global financial crisis.
In the first eight months, sales of passenger cars with engine displacement under 1.6 liters surged 55.5 percent year on year, and the sector's growth was 18.7 percentage points higher than all passenger cars in the same period, the association said.
CAAM spokesperson Zhu Yiping said a day earlier there was no doubt China's full-year sales would hit 10 million units this year.
The nation's auto sales last year rose 6.7 percent to 9.38 million units.
Chen Bin, a senior official with the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic planning agency, said China was forecast to produce a record 12 million units for the whole of 2009.
Chen, however, also warned of risks of over-capacity in the auto sector and said that the growth of the industry might slower in the next few years.
(Xinhua News Agency September 8, 2009)