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China’s Auto Sales Grew 46.9% in First Half of 2006

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:

  1. Shanghai GM
  2. Shanghai Volkswagen
  3. FAW Volkswagen
  4. Chery
  5. Beijing Hyundai
  6. FAW Toyota (first time)
  7. Tianjin-FAW Xiali
  8. Geely
  9. Guangzhou Honda
  10. 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.



Here is a GM vehicle that I would not mind buying...

CNN's John King takes a drive in the GM Sequel hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.


allen Z

Although all those cars tens to be compacts/ sub-compacts, they do not havve the latest fuel saving/ engine tech. Thus, there are still a ways to go in fuel economy. Another point is that many cars sit in bumper to bumper traffic, with gridlock in local streets more and more commonplace. This causes alot of fuel to be wasted. Another point is although there is still far fewer cars per people, or cars per household/family size with cars, most private cars on the road in China are single occupant most of the time.
___Car pooling and park and ride may be a couple of solutions to the daily crush on expressways in Chinese cities. It could be a way for the PRC leadership to divert general infrastructure/real estate investments to something that may provide real economic, environmental, energy consumption reduction and thereby geopolitical benefits.

Johannes H.

@allen Z: they should do all this things you mention, so that the us of a can keep cruising along merrily as long as possible?

Rafael Seidl

Allen Z -

actually, it's not like cars that get 47 mpg are the top sellers in the US. And many of those Ford F-series trucks out in those bumper-to-bumper freeway traffic jams only have single occupant, too.

The Chinese are going through the same boom period the US did in the late 40s and 50s. Europe and Japan followed in the 60s. Owning a car was *the* staus symbol for social climbers back then.

Generally, the Chinese prefer not to listen to guanxi (foreign devils) anyhow, but especially not on such an emotive subject on which they don't even try to practice what they preach. At present, auto sales are running at ~3.8 million per year for a population of 1.2 billion in China. The US market is 17 million vehicles per year for 300 million citizens, that's 18x the sales per inhabitant. Europe and Japan have a lower multiplier, around 10. China is the fastest growing market but let's not lose sight of the relative dimensions here.

allen Z

I am Chinese.

allen Z

No, it is to buy time for a switch from fossil energy to renewables. It is also to decrease pressures on the environment/people from cars and decrease lost time stuck in traffic. The decreased pressures on the oil market, and consequently the geopolitics of oil, are also attractive.


nice daihatsu charade

James Hamilton

What exactly does the 46.9% figure refer to? Reuters reported that car sales were up 36.53%, and all vehicles up 26.71%, for the first half. People's Daily Online also reports automobile sales up 26.71% for the first half, and gives 46.9% as the amount by which sales of sedans went up.

Rafael Seidl

Allen Z -

my apologies, I did not know that. Are you actually a Chinese citizen, living in China?

Keith F

Hmmm... Has anyone else noticed this?

I'm looking at the picture and I notice that, whereas I can see things close up, I can't see out in the distance very far. It's like a grey fog of some sort.

Can anyone think of a reason why air in China could be more opaque than normal air?


Looks like an overcast day to me.


China has horrific pollution.. alot of particles in the air make it nasty.

Roger Pham

The more that China should focus on hydrogen and methane as primary fuels for congested cities. All the Coal to Liquid Projects that China engaged in should instead produce hydrogen and methane as transportation fuels. With an authoritarian form of government, China is in much better position to mandate strict clean air regulations than anyone else in the world. All the new coal electrical plants in China should be of the Clean Coal technology in order to increase the capacity for production of hydrogen and methane.

Allen Z, if you know Mandarin, may be you can help promote this clean-air ideology to top Chinese officials. If China puts a high value in tourism and in increasing her world-wide standing, then perhaps clean air should be among the top priorities. Oh, yeah, the 2008 Beijing Olympic is near. A very important show case for the world that China can lead the world in environmental technology almost as well as making Gucci imitations.


Who here thinks that gas prices will not keep going up and up. Any excess supply that we did have will now be gobbled up. Better start buying EV's and hybrids right now. I already put my money down on a TANGO.

shaun mann

no, it isn't quite a charade. it is very close, though. the charade had a flatter hoodline.

it isn't just modern engine management that they lack, they don't have american safety requirements, pollution requirements, and they must be compatibe with much lower quality fuel.

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