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Automobile imports up 30% in 2007
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The number of automobiles imported to China was likely to reach 300,000 in 2007, up 30 percent year-on-year, China Trading Center for Automobile Import (CTCAI) forecast here Saturday.


Ding Hongxiang, general manager of the CTCAI, attributed the sound growth to stable policies for car imports since the country promised to reduce the tariff to 25 percent by July 1, 2006.


Customs statistics showed that in the first 11 months last year, the number of imported vehicles stood at 277,093 units, up 37.6 percent.


More luxury cars were imported in 2007. Those with an engine size larger than 2.5L accounted for 69.4 percent of the total.


Sports Utility Vehicles were likely to overtake sedans for the first time to become the most popular imported cars, Ding said. From January to November, the number of imported SUVs rose 65 percent to 126,659.


Japan, Germany, the Republic of Korea and the U.S. were the major source countries for China's imported cars. Forty-two percent of sedans were imported from Germany and 48 percent of SUVs were imported from Japan.


In 2006, China overtook Japan to become the world's second largest car market second only to the United States, with sales of 7.2 million units, up 25.13 percent year-on-year. China was also the world's third largest vehicle producer, after Japan and the United States.


(Xinhua News Agency January 13, 2008)

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