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China car sales grow for 5th month in April, set new record

China's automobile sales probably reached a record high of 1.15 million units last month as the government's stimulus plans began to pay off, estimates from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) indicated today.

Official figures for vehicle production and sales are scheduled for release next Monday.

Assuming the CAAM figures are borne out by official data, April would be the fifth straight month of growth for the industry.

China unveiled a support package for the auto industry early this year, cutting purchase taxes for cars with small engine capacities and providing subsidies to rural purchasers.

The auto market boom showed that the stimulus policies had greatly boosted consumer confidence, said Huang Yonghe, an expert at the China Automobile Technology and Research Center.

According to CAAM, sales of minivans and economy cars surged in April, with SGMW and ChangAn, China's two largest minivan makers, recording sales gains of more than 50 percent from last year.

Sales of China's Chery, which makes cars with small engine capacities, hit a record high of more than 42,000 units in April.

China's March auto sales grew 5 percent from a year earlier to 1.11 million units.


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