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Car sales speed to monthly record
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2007-10-15 14:16
China's passenger car sales accelerated 22.4 percent to its highest monthly record in September from a year earlier, according to a semi-official automotive industrial organization.

Chinese car makers sold a combined 534,074 passenger cars including sedans, multi-purpose vehicles, sport-utility vehicles and mini vans in September, the Union of Passenger Car Market and Information said yesterday.

Although the monthly sales rose to all-time high, the year-on-year growth was the lowest since June.

Rao Da, secretary-general of the union, however, played down concerns that the slower sales growth would signal the auto market was in for another round of sluggishness.

"The moderate growth is based on the sales spurt from a year earlier," said Rao. "China's auto market is getting more mature, but the fast growing momentum is still expected to be sustained because it is now powered not only by cars but also for other (vehicle) segments."

Sales of SUV surged 70 percent to 31,988 units last month against a 22-percent increase for cars to 408,101 units. Delivery of MPVs also expanded 24 percent to 19,651 units.

For the first three quarters this year, total deliveries jumped by 21 percent to 4.36 million units in the country while production expanded to 4.6 million, a year-on-year addition of 21.6 percent.

The buoyant car sales have been boosted by China's booming stock market since the beginning of this year, enhancing people's spending capability. Car makers also cut prices to make vehicles more affordable to buyers.

FAW Volkswagen maintained its ranking as the top seller last month with 48,115 units sold, followed by Shanghai General Motors's 43,728 units and Shanghai Volkswagen's 41,386 units.

Amid the booming sales, car makers raised sales target and studied possibilities to boost capacity to meet demand.

Volkswagen Group, the biggest overseas car maker in the world's second largest auto market, targets to sell 900,000 units in China this year after selling 711,298 units last year.

Listed car makers also saw their profits grow. SAIC Motor Corp, China's largest auto maker, said nine-month profit probably surged more than fourfold while FAW Car Co, the Chinese partner of Mazda Motor Corp, also said third-quarter profit likely rose more than half on higher sales.

Source:Shanghai Daily 
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