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Auto Industry

Chinese car market expands, pleasing German auto makers

The Chinese car market has fully rebounded from a dent in 2012, when an unresolved territorial dispute heavily impacted on the sale of Japanese models. German carmakers managed to shift more motors as well.

The vehicle market in the world's second largest economy grew by 13.9 percent to almost 22 million units in 2013, the CAAM industry association reported in Beijing on Thursday.

In December 2013 alone, car sales in China rose by 21.5 percent compared to the same month a year earlier, after already surging by 16 percent in November.

The full-year pick-up came as an ongoing territorial dispute with Japan over a group of islands in the South Sea lost much of its initial impact, with demand for Japanese cars going up markedly again.

Full steam ahead for BMW

China the world's fastest growing auto market

also logged vastly improved numbers in China's resurgent vehicle market. Sales of BMW cars for instance were up 17.9 percent in the Asian nation, with 362,500 units sold compared to the 303,000 BMW cars leaving Chinese showrooms in the previous years.

"Our growth turned out distinctly higher than expected," BMW China chief Karsten Engel told reporters, adding that the annual increase alone exceeded total sales in France for the same period.

The German luxury carmaker said it expected 10-percent growth for unit sales in China throughout the current year, with the Asian country to remain the company's most important market.

hg/msh (dpa, Reuters)

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