China Car Sales Reach Record High

Chinese car sales reached a record high in November as consumers rushed to take advantage of tax rebates and other government incentives.

Sales of passenger cars including multipurpose vehicles and SUVs jumped 29.3% to 1.34 million in November, Bloomberg News reported. The previous record, set in January, was 1.32 million.

China introduced incentives as part of its economic stimulus package. The incentives include consumption-tax rebate for smaller vehicles, subsidies for rural car-buyers and incentives to trade in older models.

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These benefits are due to expire at the end of this month.

"Consumers who expect the stimulus policies to be discontinued next year are bringing forward purchases before time runs out," said Yu Bing, an auto analyst at Pingan Securities Co. in Shanghai. "There is little reason to support the extension of the tax rebate and vehicle trade-in policies, given robust industry growth."

In the 11 months to November, passenger-car sales are up 34.9% to 12.45 million. Companies such as General Motors (GM) and Ford Motor Co (F) are currently planning to add new models.

Last year, China overtook the United States to become the world's largest auto market. Vehicle sales rose 46% to 13.6 million in 2009.