* Annual holiday spree lifts sales
* Analysts say market may lose momentum in coming months
* Add SAIC may still outpace market growth
(Adds analyst comment, detail)
By Fang Yan and Ken Wills
BEIJING, Feb 11 Top Chinese automaker SAIC Motor
Corp (600104.SS) sold 35 percent more vehicles in January than
in the same month last year, as a holiday buying spree helped it
extend momentum from late 2010.
SAIC, which runs vehicle manufacturing ventures with General
Motors (GM.N) and Volkswagen (VOWG.DE), said on Friday it sold
416,000 vehicles last month.
Analysts attributed SAIC's solid monthly gain -- strongest
since April 2010 -- to rising consumer sentiment ahead of the
Chinese lunar new year, which ran from Feb. 2 to Feb. 8 in 2011.
"January data are all pretty strong due to holiday spending,
but growth will taper off soon," said Jenny Gu, an analyst with
J.D. Power Asia Pacific.
Many Chinese typically go on a buying spree ahead of the new
year holiday, snapping up the latest electronic gadgets.
The world's largest auto market will lose momentum in
coming months after the government stripped away most stimulus
measures, including tax incentives for small cars, analysts say.
Beijing city government's move to impose quotas on new car
registrations and possible similar moves by other big cities to
tackle gridlock will also stall the market.
China's autos market is expected to grow 10-15 percent in
2011, down from 32 percent in 2010, industry executives said.
Its broad product portfolio and fuel-efficient models will
give SIAC a chance of outpacing the market, analysts said.
January sales of SAIC's Volkswagen were up 65.7 percent to
113,000 units year on year, while its GM vehicles posted a 47.2
percent rise to 132,783 units.
SAIC's proprietary brands, Roewe and MG, reported a combined
tally of 20,127 units, up 34.1 percent.
(Reporting by Fang Yan and Ken Wills; Editing by Chris Lewis
and David Hulmes)