|China’s top-selling economy car: the 47 mpg Xiali.|
Xinhua. China’s domestic auto sales rose 46.9% in the first half of 2006 compared to the same period the year before, reaching 1.804 million cars, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. In 2005, new car sales in China grew 21.4%, up from 15% in 2004.
Economy cars with engine displacements of 1.6-liters or lower and low emissions accounted for half of the top ten best-selling vehicles.
Shanghai GM became the leading automaker overall in China this year, while FAW Volkswagen dropped from first to third. In descending order, the top ten companies in sales for the first half were, in descending order:
- Shanghai GM
- Shanghai Volkswagen
- FAW Volkswagen
- Beijing Hyundai
- FAW Toyota (first time)
- Tianjin-FAW Xiali
- Guangzhou Honda
- Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen.
Shanghai GM hit a 25% market share for the period, posting 453,832 units, up 47% from a year earlier. The top ten auto makers accounted for 1.272 million units or 70.52% of the total.
Xiali, manufactured by Tianjin FAW, kept its top position on the list of top-selling economy cars with 93,800 vehicles sold in the first half of the year—5.2% of the total new cars sold. It was followed by the Excelle of Shanghai General Motors and Elantra of the Beijing Hyundai with sales of 86,900 and 85,400, respectively.
The 1.0-liter engine in the Xiali delivers 39 kW (52 hp) of power and 77 Nm (57 lb-ft) of torque, with a fuel consumption rating of 5.0 l/100km (47 mpg US).
For June only, the Santana from Shanghai Volkswagen and Jetta of FAW Volkswagen topped the list with 15,400 and 14,300 sold each.
China is now the world’s second-largest auto market. In May, the National Development and Reform Commission forecast that 55 million vehicles will be on China’s roads by 2010, with the annual production rate hitting 9 million units per year.