Government incentives help boost Chinas June auto sales by 36.5 per cent

The Associated Press ~ staff The News
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BEIJING - China's auto sales soared 36.5 per cent in June from a year earlier to 1.14 million vehicles, boosted by government incentives, an industry group said Thursday.
Passenger car sales hit a monthly high of 872,900 units, the China Association of Automobile Manufactures said. That outpaced U.S. sales of 859,847 units. The monthly total was the second-highest to date after April's 1.15 million vehicles.
Global automakers are looking to China to help drive revenues as they struggle with falling demand in North American and other markets.
Total sales for the first half were 6.1 million vehicles, up 17.7 per cent from a year earlier and a six-month record, said the association, which is authorized by the government to release industry data.
"It was really hard for our auto industry to achieve such a proud result against a backdrop of general gloom in the international auto industry," the association said in a statement.
General Motors Corp. reported earlier that its China sales soared 38 per cent in the first half from a year earlier. Ford Motor Co. said its first-half China sales were up 14 per cent.
After weakening last year as the global financial crisis hit, China's auto sales have rebounded this year, driven by sales tax cuts, government subsidies to trade in older cars and other incentives.
"The government took a series of policies in the first half of the year to promote the development of the auto industry," the association said. "Auto sales and production pulled out of their trough to show a good development trend."

Organizations: China Association of Automobile Manufactures, General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co.

Geographic location: China, BEIJING, U.S.

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