Passenger car sales in China, the world's biggest auto market, will grow nearly 13 percent this year from a year earlier, data from an industry association showed Tuesday.
Judging from this year's sales trend, sales of passenger and commercial vehicles will increase 10 to 12 percent year on year, according to China Passenger Car Association.
The growth rate is double the estimate of China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), another major industry group, which forecast 6-percent growth at the beginning of the year.
Several domestic auto makers said their own brands have become the vital driver of sales and profit growth. Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. Ltd. (GAC Group) reported 107.6-percent growth in net profits in the first three quarters, with its own brand GAC Motor contributing the biggest source of profits.
BYD, the country's leading new energy vehicle maker, reported net profits of 3.66 billion yuan (539.8 million U.S. dollars) for the first nine months, up 86.82 percent from the same period in 2015.
SAIC Motor Corp. Ltd. (SAIC Motor), the largest auto company on China's A-share market, registered net profits of 23.09 billion yuan from January to September, up 8.6 percent from a year earlier.
The strong momentum came as the Chinese economy has shown more signs of stabilizing in recent months. Earlier official data showed China's manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) stood at 50.4 in September, unchanged from August and staying above the 50-point mark that separates expansion from contraction for the second month in a row.