The China Daily reports that sales of Chinese-made vehicles during the first three quarters of this year have already topped those for the whole of last year, according to an industry association.


Statistics released last week by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers showed that domestically made vehicle sales reached 2.38 million units during the first three quarters of this year, an increase of 33.7% over the same period of last year.


“The robust sales mainly resulted from strong domestic demand fuelled by China’s steady economic growth and continuing rise in people’s disposable income,” said Zhu Yiping, an association official.


Passenger cars and heavy-duty trucks were the two biggest growth engines for total vehicle sales during the first nine months of this year, Zhu said.


Sales of Chinese-made passenger cars during the period increased by 47% year-on-year to 803,200 units, according to the association. Last year, total car sales amounted to around 720,000 units. During the first nine months of this year, 195,100 heavy-duty trucks were sold in China, up 91.7% over the same period of last year.


The China Daily report notes that manufacturers have launched dozens of new passenger cars so far this year such as Shanghai Volkswagen ‘s Polo, Nanjing Fiat’s Palio and Siena, and the Elysee of Dongfeng Citreon, based in Wuhan in Central China’s Hubei Province. The report says that these companies have benefited greatly from their new product launches.


Shanghai Volkswagen, a joint venture between the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation and Germany’s Volkswagen Group , said its sales in September this year totalled 33,000 units – the company’s second consecutive monthly sales figure of more than 30,000 units. Dongfeng Citroen, a joint venture between the Dongfeng Motor Corporation and French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen , said its sales last month surpassed 10,000 units.