updated 11/3/2005 8:04:07 AM ET 2005-11-03T13:04:07

China’s exports of passenger cars soared by 174 percent year-on-year in the first three quarters of 2005 on a surge in sales of small economy models to developing countries, the government reported Thursday.

The 18,988 cars exported were valued at $152.3 million, the Ministry of Customs said in a report carried by the official Xinhua News Agency.

China’s exports of vehicles other than passenger cars and of complete sets of parts for assembly far exceed its passenger car exports, which accounted for only 3 percent of the total of 650,000 vehicles worth $1.3 billion exported from January to September, the report said.

That total included 1,282 off-road vehicles, up 128 percent from a year earlier; 368,000 minibuses, up 1,431 percent; 4,546 large and medium-size buses, up 41 percent; 181,600 special-purpose vehicles, down 4.2 percent; and 73,569 trucks, up 128 percent, the report said.

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