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Auto sales likely to hit 10 million in 2008
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Chinese auto sales were likely to hit or surpass 10 million units in 2008, Cai Weici, vice chairman of China Machinery Industry Federation (CMIF) forecasted on Monday.


Official figures revealed that the country turned out 8.88 million automobiles in 2007, 22.02 percent more than the previous year, surpassing the eight million prediction made at the beginning of 2007.


Aggregate auto sales volume stood at 8.79 million, up 21.84 percent year on year.


Experts ascribed the robust sales growth to increasing market demand, as a recent survey by the State Information Center revealed more than 10 million Chinese households wanted to buy private cars soon. This was boosted by rising incomes and falling car prices.


The country is also stepping up its research and development of clean energy vehicles, including electric, fuel cell and hybrid automobiles, as energy saving and environmental protection has become a key concern of the country, said the CMIF.


Commercial vehicle output volume stood at 2.50 million, up 22.21 percent compared with the previous year and passenger vehicle numbers topped 6.38 million, up 21.94 percent year on year. This is the first year that the growth rate of commercial vehicles has surpassed passenger vehicles, according to the association.


Association statistics revealed domestic manufacturers had released nearly 90 new models onto the market last year.


(Xinhua News Agency January 22, 2008)


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