Various news sources report that according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), 19.31 million vehicles were sold and 19.27 million manufactured in the country last year, an increase of 4.33% and 4.63% over respective figures in 2011.

CAAM reveals that in 2012, 15.49 million passenger vehicles were sold and 15.52 million produced, respectively 7.07% and 7.17% more than in the year before. However, corresponding figures for the sales and production of commercial vehicles dropped 5.49% and 4.71% to 3.81 million and 3.75 million units respectively.

According to a recent survey conducted by the China Automobile Dealers Association (CADA), total market demands are expected to reach 20.8 million vehicles in 2013 – a 7% jump, Gasgoo.com reports, citing Beijing Business Today.

Total passenger vehicle sales are expected to be around 16.8 million units this year (8.5% up from 2012), with SUV sales predicted to grow 23% to 2.46 million units. Among the new SUV models in the Middle Kingdom are the Hyundai Santa Fe, Dongfeng Peugeot 3008 and Shanghai GM Buick Enclave.

CADA deputy secretary general Shen Rong told Gasgoo.com that the modest growth rates show that the Chinese auto market may be reaching a mature stage. He believes that the few years of rapid growth followed by a long period of slow but steady growth is a normal sequence followed by other auto markets.

As further proof of market maturity, Shen cites the growing used car market in big cities like Beijing and Shanghai. 60% of new car sales last year came from consumers who traded in their used vehicles for a discount, over four times more than in 2011, according to CADA statistics.