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China's passenger car market picks up

Posted on Nov 08, 02:49PM | IANS

China's domestic auto market picked up in October, with sales of passenger cars jumping 11.7 percent year on year to 1.25 million vehicles, latest data indicated.

In October, passenger car output rose 1.1 percent from one year earlier to 1.26 million units, according to a statement posted Thursday on the website of the China Passenger Car Association.

During the first 10 months, sales of passenger cars climbed 5.9 percent year on year to 11.7 million vehicles, and production gained 7.3 percent to 12.55 million units, reporting Xinhua citing the statement.

Sales of local brands improved during the past few months, with their market share rising from 26.4 percent in August to 33.9 percent in October.

The association attributed the improved market share to local brands' aggressive research and development spending and their more competitive prices compared with foreign rivals.

Domestic automakers reeled after the government stripped away tax incentives for small cars at the end of 2010 and authorities took steps to restrict car sales in a bid to mitigate gridlock.

"China's homegrown automakers may have passed through the most difficult time," the association said in the statement, as fleet sales of independent auto brands climbed 15.1 percent year on year in October.

The sports utility vehicle (SUV) remained the most popular model last month, with sales gaining 15.6 percent to 157,000 units.

During the first 10 months, SUV sales hit 1.46 million units, marking a sharp year-on-year increase of 24.2 percent, according to the statement.