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Tasty meals on wheels

By Wang Chao (China Daily)

09:07, January 15, 2013

European and US automarkers have managed to increase their sales in China. Provided to China Daily

Foreign car makers in China no longer enjoy a feast of sales, but market still offers good fare compared with Europe
The Chinese auto market last year may have failed to bounce back to the record highs of a few years ago, but it has performed well enough to provide the bread and butter for foreign car manufacturers struggling in Europe.

Last month, 1,559,735 passenger cars (sedans, sports utility vehicles, multipurpose vehicles and minivans) were delivered across the country, a year-on-year increase of 8.6 percent, the China Passenger Car Association says.

Sales for 2012 reached 14,682,215 units, up 6.8 percent on the previous year.

This number looks decent compared with those for the European and US car markets, and indicates the Chinese market is slowly recovering from the decline of the past two years, although it is very unlikely it will return to the glorified heights of 2009, when the growth rate hit 40 percent.

Dong Yang, vice-chairman of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, says the figures does not reflect a stagnated market, but rather the start of a healthier and steadier growth path.

"I don't want the market to go back to 2009 as it was not sustainable. And I can foresee that the auto market in 2013 will grow steadily as the impact from the negative policies fades away, and automakers benefit from the new round of government purchases."

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