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Geely's network drives up car sales

BOOSTED by the fast-growing market in China's second and third-tier cities, Geely Automobile Holdings drove up sales in the first five months of this year by nearly 60 percent from a year ago.

Sales of Geely's mainstream models such as Vision, Free Cruiser and King Kong sedans more than doubled in May, which boosted the confidence of the privately owned car maker over this year's prospects, it said.

The auto maker sold 101,171 units between January and May, a jump of 57.8 percent year on year. Sales of its Vision model accelerated 185.1 percent in May from a year earlier.

"Our network contributed to the fast sales growth," Geely said in a statement. "Geely has boosted efforts to tap the second and third-tier cities after the government handed out subsidies to encourage rural people to buy cars."

Geely's network covers 30 provinces, cities and regions across the nation. Sales from the rural areas contributed to 40 percent of the total. The firm said there is a possibility that the rural areas will take 60 percent of the domestic market considering the rapid development and immense opportunities there.

Geely, based in Zhejiang Province, said earlier it will boost vehicle sales by 25 percent this year to 281,000 units.

The China Passenger Car Association predicted earlier this week vehicle sales in the country to grow 17 percent this year from 2008, outpacing the 6.7 percent rise last year, backed by government steps, including a 50 percent cut in the purchase tax on new cars with engines of 1.6 liters or less and 5 billion yuan (US$731.41 million) subsidies to rural buyers.


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