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Used vehicle sales set to surge by 2012

ALTHOUGH China's used car sales increased by a slower 3 percent last year over 2007, they are set to accelerate more than 3 times to 9 million units by 2012 and to grow more rapidly after that, industry observers said.

More than 2.73 million second-hand vehicles were sold last year, according to the China Automobile Dealers Association. But the sales increase was a drop from double-digit growth in previous years and a sharp decline from 27.8 percent for 2007 as the market was also impacted by the global financial crisis and a slowing domestic economy.

But the value of used car trading climbed 10 percent to 118.3 billion yuan (US$17.3 billion) last year.

China's used car market took off in 2000, thanks to the boom in the automotive industry and sedans sold better compared with multi-purpose vehicles and sport-utility vehicles. But used-car sales measured one-third of the sales of new cars in China last year while in the United States, they took up more than 3 times the sales of new cars and in Germany they were twice the rate.

Motor experts said that the used car market in China faces problems including a lack of a unified assessment standard on vehicle quality and a pricing mechanism.

"The (used car) market may grow 30 percent year on year," said Luo Lei, deputy secretary general of the association. "Demand for vehicles remains high due to an economic stimulus plan and falling fuel prices which will also benefit the used car market."


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