China's auto sales up nearly three percent
Beijing, July 11 (IANS) China's automobile sales hit 9.6 million units in the first half of 2012, up 2.93 percent year-on-year, the auto industry association said Wednesday.
Sales of passenger vehicles reached 7.61 million units, up 7.1 percent, while production totalled 7.6 million units, up 7.9 percent, Xinhua reported.
Sales and output of sports utility vehicles saw the fastest growth, surging over 30 percent year-on-year, the data of China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) showed.
However, sales of commercial vehicles slid 10.4 percent to 1.98 million units, while commercial vehicle output declined 8.6 percent to 1.93 million units.
China's automobile industry boomed in 2009 and 2010. Sales surged by over 32 percent to 18.06 million units in 2010.
The nation overtook the US to become the world's largest auto market in terms of sales in 2009.
However, growth became moderate last year, with a slowing economy and expiration of policy incentives for car purchases.
The CAAM said auto output and sales are not likely to rebound sharply in the short-term, as the Chinese economy still faces downward pressure.
The top 10 auto producers sold 8.45 million vehicles in the first half of 2012, up 4.5 percent.
Their sales accounted for 88 percent of total sales, up 1.4 percentage points year-on-year, the data showed.
Some 3.15 million home-brand passenger vehicles were sold, down 0.2 percent.
Their market share was reduced by 3 percentage points to 41.4 percent, in the face of strong competition from producers in Germany, Japan and South Korea, according to CAAM.
The nation's vehicle exports in the first half year surged by 28 percent to 487,900 units, the data showed.
The CAAM said 3,021 electric and 146 hybrid vehicles were produced during the period.
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