Car sales growth in China slowed to a single-digit rate last year for the first time in a decade as the economy decelerated in the second half.

China’s passenger car sales in 2008 rose 7.27% to 6.76m vehicles, while sales in December fell 8% to 584,600 units, marking a fourth monthly decline for the year, data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers showed.
Analysts said the outlook for this year remained bleak, although tax incentives and other measures may help to keep the market from shrinking.
“The auto industry has entered a brutal winter,” Chen Qiaoning, an analyst with ABN AMRO TEDA Fund Management, told Reuters.
“There are no signs of recovery so far, but if the government’s auto stimulus package comes out soon, we will at least see positive growth for the full year.”
A government aid package for the auto industry is expected soon.