The big three domestic Chinese automakers took a combined 48.7% share of the Chinese vehicle market in 2008, up 1.8 percentage points year-on-year, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC), China First Automobile Works Group Corporation (FAW Group) and Dongfeng Motor Corporation (DFM) sold a total of 4.57m vehicles last year, CAAM said.

SAIC’s sales volume rose 10.72% year-on-year to 1.72m units in 2008. Its growth rate was 3 percentage points higher than the nation’s average.

SGMW (Shanghai GM) and Shanghai Volkswagen, two joint ventures of the SAIC, sold the most passenger vehicles and the second largest amount of sedans, respectively.

The top sedan seller was FAW-Volkswagen, a joint venture between the FAW Group and German automaker Volkswagen, which sold 499,000 sedans in 2008. The FAW Group sold more than 1.53m vehicles in total, up 6.75 percent.

Among the three automakers, DFM witnessed the fastest growth. Its sales volume rose 16.1% year-on-year to 1.32m units in 2008.