China's Passenger Car Sales Up 16.1%

China is now second only to U.S. in new car sales.

Passenger car sales in China rose by 16.1% in March from the same month a year ago to 567,000 units, state media said April 9.

In the first three months, sales rose 22.4% to 1.5 million units, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said. Sales of sedan cars jumped 30.1% to 1.1 million units in the period while multi-purpose vehicles were up 14.9% to 53,300 units and sports utility vehicles up 15.8% to 71,600, the report said.

Analysts said car sales in China will continue to enjoy robust growth in the coming years, boosted by the country's rapidly growing economy and rising household incomes.

Jiang Lei, deputy chief of the association, cited earlier forecasts that car sales in China will grow 15% to hit 8 million units this year, according to Xinhua.

China overtook Japan in 2006 to become the world's second largest market for new vehicles after the U.S. with new vehicles sales soaring 25.1% to 7.2 million units, Xinhua said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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