According to data issued by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), Chinese vehicles sales increased by 4.3% to 19.3m units in 2012. CAAM forecasts that total vehicle sales in the world's largest market will rise by around 7% this year to 20.65m units.

CAAM puts vehicle production in China last year at 19,271,800 units, an increase of 4.6% on 2011. Production of passenger cars was 15,523,700 units, an increase 7.2% on 2011; the output of commercial vehicles was 3,748,100 units, a decrease of 4.7% compared with the same period of last year.

According to CAAM, China vehicle sales automobile sales were 1,809,900 units in December, an increase of 7.1% on the previous year. 

China vehicle sales in 2012 reached 19,306,400 units, an increase of 4.3% on 2011. Passenger car sales increased 7.07% in 2012 to 15,495,200 units; commercial vehicle sales reached 3,811,200 units, a decrease of 5.5% on 2011.

For 2013 CAAM forecasts that passenger vehicle sales will grow 8.5% to about 16.8m units, while commercial vehicle sales grow by just 1% to around 3.85m units.

CAAM expects SUV sales to remain the fastest growing segment in China.

“A continuous and stable macroeconomic policy will be good for the development of the vehicle market,” CAAM said in a statement. CAAM added that vehicle demand will be supported by continued urbanisation.

Analysts say that China's economy has looked unexpectedly strong in recent months and that, along with rising replacement demand from China's expanded parc, will support sales over the next year.

Most of what is sold in China is made in China. This year, vehicle exports are projected to total 1.3m units, according to the CAAM.