Year Of The Car? Passenger Car Sales In China Up 33 Percent In  First Two Months Of 2007

China Association of Automobile Manufacturers says passenger car sales were up 33 percent over the same two months in 2006; total vehicle sales were up 25 percent.

Beijing (AP)- Passenger car sales in China's booming vehicle market soared by 33 percent in the first two months of this year compared with the same period of 2006, an industry association said Friday.

Total vehicle sales, which also counts trucks and buses, rose 25 percent, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said.

China surpassed Japan last year to become the world's No. 2 vehicle market after the United States based on strong truck and bus sales, but is still in third place for sedans.

Sedan sales in January and February totaled 712,200 units, while total vehicle sales were 1.3 million units, said the CAAM, the main government-authorized industry group.

China's vehicle sales, including trucks and buses, rose 25.1 percent last year to 7.2 million units, according to the CAAM. Passenger car sales rose to 3.8 million.

In January and February, the top-selling auto model in China was the Santana sedan made by Shanghai Volkswagen Automotive Co., a joint venture involving German's Volkswagen AG, with 30,500 units sold, according to the CAAM.

The top-selling automaker was General Motors Corp.'s Shanghai General Motors joint venture at 67,500 units, according to the CAAM.

The top Chinese automaker was Chery Automobile Co., with 51,600 units sold, the group said.