BEIJING, Feb. 11 -- China's automobile production and sales both more than doubled in January, hitting a record high, after the government extended the stimulus package to the end of this year.
The news shows robust growth in the world's biggest automobile market is continuing.
Total vehicle production and sales across the country reached 1.61 million and 1.66 million respectively in January, up 143 percent and 124 percent from a year earlier, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said yesterday.
All vehicle models showed a more than 70 percent year-on-year increase. The association attributed the strong growth to rising demand as China's healthy economy too much leading dramatically improved living standards.
"The extended stimulus measures involving tax cuts and subsidies for trade-ins also drove automobile purchases," said Dong Yang, deputy chairman of the association.
However, he also said that the strong sales, which exceeded expectations, would not represent the whole-year marketing performance, because there were still many uncertain factors likely to affect China's macro economy this year.
"We stick with our expectation for 15 million domestic vehicle sales for this year," said Dong.
Sales of cars, sports-utility vehicles, and multi-purpose vehicles also hit a new monthly record of 1.32 million units last month, with strong growth of 113 percent over last year, said the association. Almost half of the sales, 650,000 units, were by homegrown brands.
Sales of commercial vehicles, including trucks, coaches and buses reached 348,200 units with year-on-year growth of 177 percent in January, close to the historic record of 356,100 units in March 2008.
The robust sales have made China the most important automobile market for both domestic and global automakers. They harvested record sales in the country last month.
General Motors, the largest overseas automaker in China, reported last week sales of 219,192 vehicles in January, an increase of 97 percent compared with the first month of 2009.
US automaker Ford Motor's joint venture in China sold of 30,759 passenger vehicles in January, up 128 percent compared with the same period last year.
China's biggest automaker, SAIC Motor, said that its car sales last month totaled 307,384 units, up 90 percent over last year.
China's vehicle sales rose 46 percent to 13.5 million units last year, helping the country surpass the US for the first time as the world's top automobile market.