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High speed sales for Geely

GEELY Automobile Holdings said sales for the first five months jumped nearly 60 percent from a year ago, driven by the fast growing market in second and third-tier cities.

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

Zhejiang Province-based Geely said earlier it aimed to boost vehicle sales by 25 percent this year to 281,000 units this year, as it introduces new models and taps government incentives to boost the domestic auto market.

"The fast sales growth derived from our completed sales network. Geely has strengthened efforts to exploit the second and third-tier cities after the government handed out subsidies to cars purchased in rural areas," Geely said in a statement.

Geely's network covers 30 provinces, cities and regions across the nation. Sales from rural areas contributed to 40 percent of the total. And it said there is possibility the rural area will take up to 60 percent of the domestic market considering its fast development.

Sales reached 101,171 units in January-May period, up 57.8 percent on a yearly base. Its Vision model recorded a sales growth of 185.1 percent in May from year earlier.

The China Passenger Car Association predicted earlier this week that China's vehicle sales this year would accelerate 17 percent from 2008, outpacing the 6.7 percent increase last year. This is backed by government incentives, including cutting by half the purchase tax on new cars with engines of 1.6 liters or less as well as offering 5 billion yuan in subsidies to vehicle buyers in rural areas.


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