China’s automotive market today is in a state of flux. The growth rate for passenger-vehicle sales in the world’s second-biggest auto market decelerated in first-half 2008 to 18%, compared with 26% in like-2007, and kept slowing to 6.8% in July, the smallest monthly gain since July 2006. “The slowdown was overdue and not unexpected. It was moderation from the very high levels of growth in the last six or seven years,” says Ashvin Chotai, an independent Asian analyst and consultant. ...

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