According to a Reuters report, China produced more vehicles than third-place Japan, but is still behind the US which remains the world’s largest market.
However, China relied on 160,000 units of imports to be in this position. If these are excluded, China remains number three, the People’s Daily newspaper said.
Chinese vehicle sales last year rose 14 per cent from 2004 to 5.8 million units, People’s Daily said (imports excluded). Sales this year of vehicles including everything from cars to buses and trucks are expected to grow 10 to 15 per cent to between 6.4 million to 6.6 million units, the report said, citing figures from the official China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
Earlier this month, General Motors reported a 35 per cent rise in China sales to 665,390 vehicles in 2005, exceeding the combined 564,300 units sold by Volkswagen AG’s two Chinese joint ventures.