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China car production doubles

China-based carmakers produced a record 126,800 cars in January, a 120 per cent leap from a year earlier, according to figures released by the Chinese government today. The figures underline the huge growth iin one of the world's fastest growing markets.

Output at Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp (SAIC), which claimed the title of China's top vehicle maker in 2002, soared 130 per cent in January to 44,400, breaking the 40,000 mark for the first time, the State Statistical Bureau said.

SAIC also produced more than 10,000 mid- to high-end. Passat saloons in January at a joint venture with partner Volkswagen AG , the bureau said in a statement on its Web site at www.stats.gov.cn.

The output of Shenzhen-listed Chongqing Changan Automobile Co Ltd rose 260 percent in January and that of Tianjin Automotive Industry Corp was up 100 percent, the statistics bureau said.

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