The mainland's passenger-vehicle sales rose 10.5 per cent last month as carmakers boosted output and dealerships offered discounts to clear inventory. Wholesale deliveries of cars, multipurpose and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) climbed to 1.24 million units last month, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said yesterday. "There is an element of push from carmakers," said Ole Hui, a Hong Kong-based analyst with Mizuho Financial. "They have all increased capacity and therefore have the incentive to push for more volumes and use more discounting." There is an element of push from carmakers … to use more discounting OLE HUI, MIZUHO FINANCIAL ANALYST Ford Motor, PSA Peugeot Citroen and Volvo Cars are among carmakers that have opened assembly plants on the mainland this year. Companies are stepping up production to cater todemand in the country, where sales are projected to exceed 20 million units this year and 30 million by the end of the decade, according to association estimates. An index tracking vehicle inventory levels on the mainland fell to 53.2 in July from 56.1 a month earlier, remaining above the 50-point mark that demarcates a "reasonable" level of stockpile, according to the China Automobile Dealers Association this week. Dealers were introducing discounts and holding promotions including for group purchases to reduce stockpiles, the trade group said. Total sales of vehicles, including buses and trucks, gained 9.9 per cent to 1.52 million units last month, the association said. In the first seven months of the year, 12.3 million vehicles were delivered, putting sales on track to exceed the 20 million units estimated by the association. Obstacles to growth are sprouting. Tianjin and Wuhan are considering vehicle purchase restrictions to reduce pollution and alleviate traffic congestion. Four other cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, already have vehicle ownership curbs. The mainland's car association was firmly opposed to the "simple method" of vehicle purchase curbs to reduce air pollution, secretary general Dong Yang said in a briefing in Beijing. Sales of SUVs, the fastest-growing segment in the first half of this year, jumped 45 per cent to 235,000 units, while car deliveries gained 7 per cent to 840,400 vehicles. US carmakers gained market share against Japanese brands, which continued to falter in China 10 months after nationwide protests broke out over Japan's nationalisation of a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea.