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June 17, 2003

CHINA: Car output up as sales show slowing signs

China's output of passenger cars continued to grow quickly in May, jumping 90% year on year to 158,600 vehicles, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Monday, according to Dow Jones, though it noted sales show signs of slowing.

By bcusack

China’s output of passenger cars continued to grow quickly in May, jumping 90% year on year to 158,600 vehicles, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Monday, according to Dow Jones, though it noted sales show signs of slowing.

While it didn’t give overall figures for cars sales, the bureau said sales at a “representative” car market in Beijing fell 25% from April to 3,082 vehicles in May, the lowest monthly sales figure in more than a year, the report said.

According to Dow Jones, the bureau said though supply had problems keeping up with demand in the last couple of months, that is no longer the case, and inventories are growing.

The bureau said a spurt of sales during the early part of the SARS outbreak, as consumers rushed to buy their own cars to avoid crowded public transport, has also passed, Dow Jones noted.

Passenger vehicles remained a relative bright spot, the bureau said, as production of freight vehicles fell 40% year on year to 72,100.

For the first five months of the year, output totaled 507,800 vehicles, an on-year decline of 0.9%, the news agency report said.

Passenger car output in the January-May period, by contrast, totaled 724,200 vehicles, just over twice the figure for the same period in 2002, Dow Jones added.

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