Government helps drive up Chinese vehicle sales

CAR sales in China jumped emphatically by 48.5 per cent for the month of June, bucking the worldwide trend, the Chinese Association of Automobile Manufacturers announced yesterday.<br /><br />China recently overtook the US to become the world&rsquo;s largest car market, and the nation&rsquo;s thriving industry stands in stark contrast to car markets in the West which have struggled in the global recession.<br /><br />The Russian market has also suffered, with sales falling by 56 per cent compared to June of last year.<br /><br />The Chinese state has played a key role in fuelling demand for new vehicles through incentive strategies like offering tax breaks for small cars and subsidies in rural parts of the country. But analysts said yesterday that even vehicle sales not assisted by the government were also strong. Sales over the full year are expected to easily surpass 10m.