China Produces, Sells Over 3.5 Million Vehicles In First Half Of 2006

Auto production and sales in China remained brisk in the first half of the year, with over 3.5 million vehicles produced and sold, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said July 11. Over 3.53 million vehicles were sold in the six months to June, up 26.7% year-on-year. Production was up 28.9% to 3.6 million units. Of the vehicles produced, 1.89 million were passenger cars.

Despite the robust numbers, concerns about over-capacity in China's automotive industry remain, with Morgan Stanley saying in a research report in April that idle capacity would rise to 1.2 million units this year from one million in 2005."The industry will continue to suffer from overcapacity for the next 12 months and may even worsen as carmakers plan to increase capacity and launch new models," it said.

Last week, Shanghai GM, a joint venture between General Motors and the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp, announced a 47% growth in sales in the first half to 453,901 vehicles.

Volkswagen Group China also said that sales from its car-producing joint ventures Shanghai Volkswagen and FAW-Volkswagen increased 30.2% year-on-year, with total sales at 345,375 vehicles, including imports.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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