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Guangzhou Honda's Sales up 81% in July

The China-based car making joint venture between Honda Motor Co and Denway Motors Ltd announced last week its July unit sales jumped 81 percent, year-on-year, but dipped from June.



The announcement was widely seen as the latest sign that growth was stalling in China's once-revving auto sector.


Industry-wide sales slowed in June, for the third month in a row, but grew slightly on the year, as the central government clamped down on credit to curb rampant economic growth.


Surging capacity, meanwhile, forced auto makers to cut prices.


State media are speculating, for the first time, that July's car sales fell, on a year-on-year basis.


Denway is believed to be less vulnerable to the industry's slowdown compared with some of its peers, given the popularity of Honda's cars.


Guangzhou Honda Automotive Co, which is 47.5-percent held by Hong Kong-listed Denway, said that it sold 20,869 cars and minivans in July, down about 1.9 percent from the 21,275 it sold in June.


With July's figures, the company has sold 101,008 vehicles to date this year, up 68 percent year-on-year.


The increase is due mainly to capacity expansion and continued demand for its popular Honda Accord and Fit sedans and Odyssey minivans.


A Guangzhou Honda spokesman said the company is still producing in line with its full-year sales target.


"We continue to have zero inventory," he said.


(Xinhua News Agency August 13, 2004)


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