Auto sales expected to surpass 17m

09:56, October 12, 2010      

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Thousands of used cars are on sale at a secondhand car market in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, August 4, 2010. Photo: IC

China's domestic auto sales could hit 17 million units this year, equal the highest annual level ever reached in the United States, the Xinhua News Agency reported Monday, citing a report from the China Association for Auto Manufacturers.

Sales of 17 million units would represent a 25 percent increase over 2009 and average daily sales of 40,000 units nationwide in what remains of this year.

The sales reached nearly 12 million in the first eight months of this year, an increase of more than 39 percent year-on-year.

China overtook the United States to become the world's largest automaker and automobile market in 2009, with sales of 13.64 million units, a 46.15 percent increase year-on-year.

The number of motor vehicles on China's roads is now 199 million, including more than 85 million automobiles, according to a statement released Thursday by the Ministry of Public Security.

A total of 144 million Chinese have a driving license, with the number of drivers increasing annually by more than 22 million, the statement said.

However, some analysts say Monday that the sale of 17 million cars in China is still far less than that in some developed countries.

On average, there are 120 cars per 1,000 people in some developed countries, whereas in China there are 54 cars per 1,000 people, according to a report carried by news portal

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