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China November Passenger Car Sales Rise 29% to Record

Sales of passenger cars increased to 1.34 million in the month, higher than the previous record of 1.32 million in January, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Photographer: Kevin Lee/Bloomberg
Sales of passenger cars increased to 1.34 million in the month, higher than the previous record of 1.32 million in January, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Photographer: Kevin Lee/Bloomberg

Dec. 9 (Bloomberg) -- China’s passenger-car deliveries to dealers rose to a record in November as customers rushed to take advantage of government incentives supporting vehicle-buying that may expire at the end of the year.

Sales of passenger cars including multipurpose and sport-utility vehicles increased 29.3 percent to 1.34 million in the month, higher than the previous record of 1.32 million in January, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. The pace of growth was the fastest since April.

Stimulus measures in China including a consumption-tax rebate for smaller vehicles, subsidies for rural car-buyers and incentives to trade in older models are all due to expire at the end of the month. Demand is being spurred by customers anticipating an end to the policies, said Yu Bing, an auto analyst at Pingan Securities Co. in Shanghai.

“Consumers who expect the stimulus policies to be discontinued next year are bringing forward purchases before time runs out,” Yu said. “There is little reason to support the extension of the tax rebate and vehicle trade-in policies, given robust industry growth.”

Passenger-car sales rose 34.9 percent to 12.45 million in the 11 months to November, the automakers group said today.

While demand growth may slow in 2011, carmakers such as General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. continue to add new models.

GM, Ford

GM introduced Baojun, a new “affordable” brand, on Nov. 22 to grab share from local automakers such as BYD Co. and Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. and will begin selling the line next year. Ford opened 40 dealerships in China on Nov. 25 and plans to add a further 26 by the year’s end as it aims for record sales in the country.

Total vehicle sales that include trucks and buses surged to 1.697 million, 26.9 percent more than a year earlier, the association said. For the 11 months through November, total vehicle sales rose 34 percent to 16.4 million.

The stimulus measures helped China’s industrywide vehicle sales jump 46 percent last year to 13.6 million, surpassing the U.S. for the first time to become the world’s largest national automobile market.

Total vehicle sales in China may rise to 18 million this year, compared with an earlier forecast of 17 million, Xiong Chuanlin, the association’s vice secretary-general, said today at a briefing in Beijing.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Tian Ying in Beijing at ytian@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kae Inoue at kinoue@bloomberg.net

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