Daimler has said more Chinese Mercedes-Benz buyers are turning to financing rather than cash for their purchases, perhaps reflecting a slowly growing acceptance of credit use.

Ulrich Walker, chairman of Daimler Northeast Asia, told Dow Jones Mercedes-Benz's financing portfolio for retail customers and dealerships in China had doubled to CNY4bn from the end of 2008.

About 12.5% of Mercedes-Benz vehicles sold in China were bought on credit, as opposed to cash, Walker said, without giving last year's rate. In smaller, tier three and four cities, financing rates were as high as 30%, he said.

Daimler received regulatory approval to offer vehicle leases in February, but Chinese customers have been slow to embrace the concept.

Mercedes-Benz expects its sales in China next year to grow faster than the overall market's estimated 15%-20% growth.

Mercedes-Benz sales in China last month rose 224% to 8,500 units. Sales in the January-November period rose 68% to 59,150 units.

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