New car sales in China for September were up 84 per cent year-on-year, helped by the success of government incentive packages.
New car sales for the month totalled 1.015 million units. In August, when sales were 90 per cent, the government introduced a 4 trillion yuan package (£372bn) designed to mask China from the global industry downturn in new car sales.
General Motors, which is the largest foreign firm selling in the country, doubled September sales from a year earlier to 181,148 vehicles. In the first nine months, it sold 1.29m, which surpasses the number for the whole of 2008.
Volkswagen boosted nine-month China sales to 1.06m vehicles, beating the 1.02m it sold in the whole of 2008.
Chinese industry insiders claim the government may withdraw the stimulus package by the end of the year to stop the market from growing too quickly.
“It may end them [stimulus packages] to prevent the industry from growing too quickly,” said a source. “[The government] is probably worried that strong auto demand would put pressure on energy and raw-material supplies.”
But GM CEO Frtiz Henderson told reporters in Shanghai that he expected strong growth in China to continue.
“I don’t think for a second that it’s a blip,” he said, referring to the apparent artificially high growth in China compared to the rest of the world. “China will continue to grow at a very significant pace.”