Auto sales rose 32% in China last year to 18.06 million units, state media reported, citing the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM). Passenger car sales were slightly higher, increasing 33.2% to 13.75 million units. Total auto production rose 32.4% to 18.26 million units. The CAAM said it expected auto sales growth to slow in 2011 to 10-15%. Sales last year were boosted by a low purchase tax on vehicles with engine displacements of 1.6 liters or less; the purchase tax had been halved in 2009 to 5% and raised to 7.5% last year. In December, the Ministry of Finance said the tax would be raised back to 10% as of the beginning of 2011. BMW (BMW.FWB) and Volkswagen (VOW.FWB) both said their global sales rose more than 13% in 2010, helped by strong demand from China.
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