China Auto Sales Up 4.2% in August

Sales for all of 2011 will probably increase 5% instead of 10-15% predicted.

As the world's largest auto market continues to grow at a modest pace, China's auto sales rose 4.2% in August to 1.38 million units, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said on Sept. 9

"The trend of small increases in sales is likely to be sustained," the group said.

Sales of passenger vehicles -- which account for the bulk of overall auto sales -- reached 9.22 million units in the January-August period, up 6.1% from a year earlier, it added.

China, which overtook the U.S. to become the world's top auto market in 2009, has become increasingly important for global players. Auto sales in the country rose more than 32% last year to a record 18.06 million units.

But the sector has since lost steam after Beijing early this year phased out sales incentives such as tax breaks for small-engine vehicles, originally introduced to ward off the impact of the global financial crisis.

Auto sales dipped 0.25% in April in their first decline in more than two years. Sales were down 3.98% on the year in May before they rebounded by rising 1.4% in June and 2.2% in July.

The association warned in June that auto sales growth for the whole of 2011 would be just 5%, down from an earlier forecast of 10% to 15%.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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