Chinas June  Auto Sales Up 112  YearonYear

China's June Auto Sales Up 11.2% Year-on-Year

The forecast is for China's passenger car market to grow an average of 8% percent annually through 2020, when sales will reach 22 million. That would be well down from a 24% average between 2005 and 2011.

BEIJING -- Auto sales in China, the world's largest car market, increased by 11.2% year-on-year in June, an industry group said Wednesday.

A total of 1.75 million vehicles were sold nationwide last month, marginally lower than 1.76 million in May, data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers showed.

In the first half of the year, car sales rose 12.3% year-on-year to 10.78 million.

China's auto sales rose only 4.3% annually to 19.31 million in 2012, hit by limits on vehicle license plate numbers imposed by some cities to ease traffic congestion and tackle pollution.

China's economic rise has been accompanied by a surge in demand for vehicles, including luxury ones, as the country's increasing wealth gives consumers more money to spend.

China became the world's largest auto market in 2009. Of the more than 19 million vehicles sold last year, 15.5 million were passenger cars.

US automaker General Motors announced last month it would invest $11 billion in China through 2016 as the US car giant broke ground on a plant to produce luxury Cadillacs.

The figure includes four new plants, including the $1.3 billion Cadillac factory in Shanghai, GM officials said.

And in May German auto giant Volkswagen broke ground on a new plant in the central city of Changsha, due for completion at the end of 2015 with an annual output capacity of about 300,000.

Consulting firm McKinsey forecasts China's passenger car market to grow an average of 8% percent annually through 2020, when sales will reach 22 million. That would be well down from a 24% average between 2005 and 2011.

The weaker growth comes amid a slowing of the overall economy and the limits on vehicles put in place by some Chinese cities.

The economy grew 7.8% in 2012, its worst performance in 13 years, on the back of slacker demand for exports and weakness at home.

The government has set a growth target for 2013 of 7.5%, the same as last year's, as it looks to retool the economic model from a focus on exports to domestic consumption.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013

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