SHANGHAI (AP) -- China's annual auto production surpassed 10 million for the first time on Tuesday, as a new "Liberation" model truck rolled off the assembly line at state-owned First Automobile Works, state media reported.
FAW, one of the country's biggest state-run automakers, marked the 10 million-unit milestone with a ceremony at its headquarters in the northeastern city of Changchun, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
Liberation, or "Jiefang" model trucks, based on a Russian design, were the first trucks to be built in China after the 1949 communist revolution, or "liberation" as the Chinese call it. The new model produced Tuesday carried the serial number 10000000, Xinhua said.
China has been widening its lead over the U.S. as the world's top auto market, with September sales jumping 78 percent over a year earlier, boosted by tax cuts and government stimulus spending.
China's total sales hit 9.66 million vehicles in the first nine months of the year, up 34 percent from a year earlier and are forecast to top 12 million units for the year. Previously only Japan and the U.S. have exceeded 10 million vehicles in annual output.