BEIJING, July 5 (Xinhua) -- China's automobile sales surged 30.45 percent year on year to 7.18 million in the first half of the year, the China Automotive Technology & Research Center (CATRC) said Monday.
Auto production, meanwhile, jumped 44.37 percent year on year to 8.47 million units in the period.
Compared with May figures, auto production in June dipped 1.41 percent to 1.29 million. But on a year-on-year basis, it was up 12.4 percent.
China said last month it had decided to extend by six months an auto replacement subsidy program. The subsidy extension will help get highly polluting vehicles off the road and stimulate automobile consumption. Originally scheduled to finish May 31, the subsidy will now continue until Dec. 31.
Under the program, consumers who trade-in their used small- and medium-sized trucks and some mid-sized passenger vehicles for a new one receive a subsidy ranging from 3,000 (349.2 U.S. dollars) to 6,000 yuan.
By the end of May, the Chinese government had handed-out 1.7 billion yuan (251 million U.S. dollars) in subsidies for 127,000 vehicles trade-ins.
The subsidy program has boosted domestic automobile spending by 15 billion yuan (2.2 billion U.S. dollars), according to Ministry of Commerce data.