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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.

hampden wireless

In America we give up at least 10% fuel economy to have cleaner air. Even the Prius wastes gas for cleaner air. So thats how they get 47mpg on an simple engine design. It would get less if it had to meet CA standards.

Rafael Seidl


China is following European emissions legislation for gasoline and diesel. Nationwide, they are currently at Euro 2. Beijing has been at euro 3 since 2005, the rest of the country is due to follow in 2007 (Jan for diesels, July for gasoline). OBD will be mandatory for gasoline cars from July 2008. I'm not sure if it will be for diesels also, the technology is available. No word yet on DPFs.

Euro 3 was in force in the EU through Sept 2005. Ergo, in terms of emissions standards China is actually not quite as far behind the West as some of you seem to believe. California regs are a different matter, but not every city has the peculiar topographic and microclimatic problems that Los Angeles does.

The haze you see in the air is due mostly to still-dirty power stations and factories. (Older) cars and trucks surely contribute as well, though. Humidity is also typically high in China's coastal cities, though I am not enough of an expert to say if this has an effect on emissions toxicity. It certainly adds to the haze.


Unfortunately, the main reason for haze in Beijing is naturally occuring dust.

Harvey D.

Lets not forget that North American and Europeans countries have transfered a high percentage of their industrial production to China and that we are directly and indirectly responsible for the GHG increase in their cities.

If this trend is around for a long time, we will eventually get cleaner air (on their back) and they will get more GHG.

We may be smarter than we think.

allen Z

US citizen, with relatives in China, as well as friends of relatives who travel to PRC from time to time to visit; I was in Shanghai a few years ago. They come back with eyewitness accounts of the upsides and downsides to China's boom. Some parts are heavily polluted, others are not. However, the majority have been adversely affected by pollution. I combine this with news accounts/analysis and satellite images and the big picture becomes clearer (no pun intended).
___Lobbying the govt of the PRC is not productive. They understand two things: 1)stability, riots unnerve/ disturb them to some extent 2)power, entrenched power with entrenched interests.
___They are also not a democracy. What it would take is for: a)mass riots in the streets b)someone inside starts to take this seriously and cuts through the red tape and interests to get things done. It is happening, albeit haltingly and unevenly, with a happening and b resulting from. Needless to say, they still have a long way to go.
While dust is naturally carried from the north due to dust storms, there are the issues of drought, desertification, and pollution from industry, cars, and coal.
Harvey D.
While the West did move some of the dirtiest, most energy intensive/polluting, they themselves failed to learn some of the lessons of the developed nations, they did not insist on enforced standards. Greed/self interest is one part of it.

Roger Pham

Thanks, Rafael for the FYI, and thanks to Allen and all for interest in clean air. I have relative who died from lung cancer, attributable to air pollution, so perhaps it is more of a personal matter to me.

Since China has a relatively small automobile fleet and is growing rapidly, it is important to select the cleanest fuel possible NOW, because each car built today will be expected to last for the next 15-20 years, or perhaps even more. If a car requires catalytic converter or particle filter for exhaust treatment, then, as the car ages, these devices will become less effective, and the poor owners of used cars has less disposable income to fix a problem that they deem to be of less importance to them personally.

As the car fleet grows, you'll have more inertia and more entrenched interests that will object to changing the infrastructure toward cleaner fuels, plus the longer lead time of ~15-20 years waiting for current crop of cars to go out of service.


Hydrogen cars are a terrible idea in countries where most of the electricity comes from coal such as China or the US as it takes more energy to produce the stuff than it contains.

I think China would be perfect for setting up large algae biodiesel plants as it would be much cheaper than in the west.

Roger Pham

Hydrogen and methane can be produced much more efficiently and cheaply from coal gasification, perhaps at 80-90% efficiency, due to the fact that the high heat involved in this process is completely recyclable into electricity production via steam turbine. This is also known as clean coal technology, in fact, more efficiently than Coal to Liquid via gasification and then F-T synthesis into liquid hydrocarbon. Ditto for hydrogen and methane production from cellulosic biomass.

By contrast,electrolysis of water into hydrogen from electricity is only 75%-efficient, and multiply this with the 40% efficiency from coal to electricity and you'll only get 30% efficiency. This is also very expensive process at the present, due to very expensive platinum electrodes required.

Algae biodiesel production has its own environmental problem, and of course,diesel exhaust is polluting.

Maria Foreman

Dear Beloved

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Mrs. Maria Foreman

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