Used car sales reached 700,000 units in Beijing, for the first time beating new car sales, according to the China Automobile Dealers Association.
The latest CADA data showed that new car sales in 2012 totaled 580,000 units in Beijing, 120,000 units behind used cars.
Yao Jian, spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, said that the growth of new car sales has been slowing down since 2011. The auto market is now facing a period of moderate uptrend instead of rapid growth.
Yu Yuanbo, vice-president of CADA, attributed this mainly to the curbing policies in Beijing, and changes in consumers.
Eight more cities are likely to announce policies this year curbing the purchase of vehicles for private use, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers predicted on July 10. When these policies go into effect, local auto sales will dwindle by about 400,000 units, down about 25 percent.
"After talking with many experts, we conclude that curbing policies are not the best method to address pollution and traffic congestion," said Yu. "One of the effective ways may be improving the quality of petrol by reducing the sulphur content."