Volkswagen announced that its leading China venture, Shanghai Volkswagen, sold more than 10% fewer cars in 2004 than in 2003. A company executive told Reuters that 355,000 cars were sold last year, compared with 396,000 a year earlier, although the downturn was in line with company expectations. China's total cars sales almost doubled in 2003, but slowed dramatically in 2004 amid government efforts to rein in credit and cool the economy. No figures were released for VW's other China venture based in the northwestern city of Changchun. Last May VW said it wanted to see China sales of more than 800,000 units in 2004, but was forced to rein in hopeful projections as sales dropped.
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