Passenger car sector outlook brightens

Updated: 2013-07-06 02:59

By LI FANGFANG (China Daily)

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The promising market environment has also led vehicle producers, hit by last year's stagnant market, to relax a bit.

General Motors Co, the largest foreign automaker in China by sales, set sales records in June as well as in the first half.

In the first six months, the US-based auto giant delivered 1,567,392 vehicles in China, up 10.6 percent year-on-year. Sales in June were also up 10.6 percent to 236,207 units.

"We have seen strong vehicle demand across China, particularly in the mid-size, upper-medium, luxury and SUV segments," said Bob Socia, president of GM China. "We expect demand for our line-up of passenger cars and commercial vehicles to remain robust through the end of the year."

Driven by strong demand for its new Focus and several SUV models, another US-based vehicle producer, Ford Motor Co, also reported record June sales of more than 75,000 vehicles in China, up 44 percent year-on-year.

Ford's first-half sales in China surged 47 percent to more than 407,700 vehicles.

Though the premium vehicle sector saw fierce competition with price wars due to shrinking market demand, British premium carmaker Jaguar Land Rover said on Friday that its first-half sales maintained strong growth of 16 percent, surpassing 42,000 units.

It attributed the robust market performance partly to efforts to expand its distribution network. In the first half, the British company expanded its dealership network by 31 percent to 170 locations nationwide, mostly in lower-tier cities.

Mercedes-Benz also achieved better sales in the first half after it integrated the distribution channels for domestically produced and imported vehicles.

Sales in China rose 10 percent year-on-year to 76,000 units in the past four months.

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