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Auto production, sales grow a bit slower last year
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Auto production and sales remained stable in China last year, yet with growth a bit slower on lukewarm demand for vehicles of low engine displacement, sources with the Ministry of Commerce said on Saturday.

In 2007, China produced 8.88 million motor vehicles and sold 8.79 million, a growth of 22.02 percent and 21.84 percent, respectively, over the previous year.

But the growth rate for production was 5.3 percentage points lower than the year-earlier level, and that for sales, 3.29 percentage points lower.

Last year saw passenger vehicle sales went up 21.86 percent to 6.3 million units nationwide.

The total included 4.73 million cars, representing a year-on-year growth of 23.46 percent and accounting for 53.76 percent of the nation's total auto sales.

Of the car sales, those with an engine displacement of 1-2 liters each made up 3.92 million units, or 82.89 percent.

Meanwhile, 2.49 million commercial vehicles sold nationwide, up 22.25 percent. The growth rate was 8.02 percentage points higher.

In a related development, China exported US$40.9 billion worth of motor vehicles and auto parts last year, up 45.31 percent, and imported 26 billion dollars worth, up 24.45 percent.

The country sold 314,000 whole vehicles abroad, up 37.8 percent. The trade surplus in whole vehicles stood at 298,500 units, up 184,100 units.

(Xinhua News Agency March 15, 2008)

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