SHANGHAI, China (AP) - China's vehicle sales and production both rose more than 20 percent in the first half of the year, an industry group reported Wednesday, signaling healthy growth in the world's second-largest auto market.
Auto sales in the first six months rose 23.3 percent from a year ago to 4.4 million units, while production rose 22.4 percent to 4.5 million, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said in a report posted on its Web site.
The report gave no further details.
Local forecasts are that sales and output for the full year will reach a record 8.5 million, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
China surpassed Japan as the world's No. 2 auto market in 2006 with total sales of 7.2 million vehicles—including trucks and buses—and production of 7.3 million. Passenger car sales totaled 3.8 million units last year.
Last year, there were 16.5 million autos sold in the United States and 5.7 million in Japan.
Chinese auto factories produced 3.2 million passenger cars and 1.3 million commercial vehicles in the January-June period, the Xinhua report said.
The 10 biggest manufacturers sold 3.6 million vehicles, taking an 83 percent market share, the report said.