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GM says China sales hit record high in July

Published on Aug 6, 2012 11:02 PM
An employee walks past new cars at a General Motors parking lot in Shenyang, Liaoning province on Aug 1, 2012. China's Ministry of Transport projected on Tuesday the country will have more than 200 million vehicles on the road by 2020, roughly double the number in 2011, according to Xinhua News Agency. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SHANGHAI (AFP) - US auto giant General Motors said on Monday that its sales in China surged to a record 199,503 vehicles in July, defying a market slowdown and moves by a major Chinese city to limit car numbers.

GM's sales in China - the world's biggest auto market - rose 15.1 per cent in July from the same month last year, it said in a statement.

For the first seven months of this year, the auto giant sold more than 1.6 million vehicles in China, up 11.7 per cent year-on-year.

China's nationwide auto sales slowed last year after the government rolled back purchasing incentives and some cities imposed limits on car numbers to ease traffic congestion and cut pollution.

China's overall vehicle sales rose just 2.5 per cent to 18.51 million units in 2011, compared with an annual increase of more than 32 per cent in 2010.

More Chinese cities have recently called for limiting car numbers to improve congestion problems.

The booming southern city of Guangzhou in July set rules to limit the number of cars through a quota on the number of vehicle number plates made available by the government.

The northern city of Xi'an also said last week that it is soliciting public opinion on planned regulations to cap the number of cars in the city, though it gave no details on how.

But foreign brands have managed to buck the slowing trend with better brand recognition and perceptions of better quality among domestic consumers.

GM sold more than 2.5 million vehicles in China last year.