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October 14, 2009

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Auto sales in China surge 78% to record

CHINA'S vehicle sales in September accelerated 78 percent to a record 1.33 million units as government stimulus measures and price discounts before the National Day holiday lured consumers to showrooms.

For the first nine months of this year, car makers sold a total of 9.66 million vehicles, a jump of 34 percent year on year, which exceeded total sales of 9.38 million vehicles for the whole of 2008, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

There has been strong growing momentum in China's auto market since February after the central government offered stimulus measures to help the industry avoid a slump. These measures included financial subsidies for vehicle purchases and a lower tax for small cars.

The CAAM forecast full year sales to hit 12 million units this year, which would see China overtaking the United States as the world's largest auto market for the first time.

The record vehicle sales in China have boosted global auto makers.

Ford Motor Corp said yesterday its sales in China rose 32 percent to 316,639 units for the first nine months of this year. Sales of its Chinese venture, Chang'an Ford Mazda, soared 104 percent in the third quarter to 87,454 vehicles.

German car maker Volkswagen AG also sold 37 percent more cars, or 1.06 million, on China's mainland and Hong Kong from January to September. Its September sales hit a monthly record of 150,000 units.

SAIC Motor Corp, China's largest auto group, said net profit jumped more than 70 percent for first nine months after a 47 percent boost in sales compared to a year ago.


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