SHANGHAI: Auto sales in China, the world’s biggest car market, surged 13.9 percent to 21.98 million vehicles last year, an industry group said last week, with the growth rate outpacing 2012 despite economic weakness.
Sales of passenger vehicles alone jumped 15.7 percent year-on-year to 17.93 million units, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) said in a statement.
In December, sales of vehicles—both passenger and commercial—rose 17.9 percent year-on-year to 2.13 million units, CAAM said. In 2012 auto sales rose just 4.3 percent annually to 19.31 million vehicles, hurt by slowing domestic economic growth, limits on car numbers imposed by some cities to cut pollution and congestion, and a territorial row between Beijing and Tokyo that hit sales of Japanese-brand cars.
In its figures, CAAM said sales of Japanese-brand cars amounted to 2.93 million in 2013, but gave no percentage change.
Some foreign companies have already announced record China sales in 2013. General Motors sold 3.16 million vehicles last year, up 11.4 percent from 2012. Ford sold 935,813 vehicles in China last year, up 49 percent from 2012, as the US company introduced more new vehicles to the market.