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Xinhua News Agency - CEIS

Joint-ventures garner top three of China's auto sales in 2006

BEIJING, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Sino-foreign joint-ventures were China's top three producers of passenger vehicle producers in 2006, with the Shanghai GM, leading the pack selling 413,400 autos.

The list, published Monday by the website China Auto News, shows that the Shanghai Volkswagen and FAW-Volkswagen came in second and third by selling 352,000 and 350,000 cars, respectively.

Chery, China's top-selling domestic brand, sold 300,000 cars to take the fourth place, the best performance ever by a Chinese carmaker.

Jia Xinguang, an industrial analyst, said that China's domestic auto producers boosted their share of the market to 26 percent in 2006.

"They may not be market leaders yet, but they are definitely growing stronger," he said.

Another two China-owned brands, Brilliance Auto and Geely Group, also edged into the top 10 by selling more than 200,000 cars.

The list shows that combined sales of the top 10 reached 2.85 million, accounting for more than two thirds of the four million passenger vehicles sold.

China has about 1,500 registered auto producers, of which fewer than 100 were sell more than 10,000 vehicles a year. Many small manufacturers sold only 300 to 500 vehicles. The National Development and Reform Commission warned in December 2006 that the auto industry was overheated, which could lead to over production.
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