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Car production lower than expected
Updated: 2004-10-22 02:37

China's car production and sales this year will be lower than expected and also the lowest increase since China's entry to the World Trade Organization three years ago, according to industry experts.

China manufactured nearly 1,765,100 cars in the first three quarters of 2004, a year-on-year increase of 21 percent, statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show.

  China produced 177,400 cars in September, slightly more than in August but down 7.8 percent over the same period last year.

After several months' reduction in auto production, stockpiled cars in automakers' warehouses saw the first decline in eight months, the NBS said, saying stockpiled cars were reduced by more than 10,000 in September.

Retailers, however, said their stockpiled cars continued to increase.

 According to the China Automotive Industry Association (CAIA), China's automakers sold 187,000 cars in September, up 10 percent over August but 2 percent lower than the same month last year.

From January to September, China sold more than 1.6 million cars, a year-on-year increase of over 17 percent, CAIA statistics show. Stockpiled cars still measure as many as 130,000 units.

 Despite the better sales in September than August, experts believe the complete recovery of the car market will still be difficult in next several months.

However, if China could sell 180,000 cars monthly in the fourth quarter, the yearly increase of car sales could keep an increase rate of 20 percent, high compared with the European and American markets, the experts said.

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