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The Associated Press June 8, 2011, 6:42AM ET

China plans 'cash for clunkers' to beat weak sales

China says it plans to pay up to nearly $2,800 for old vehicles headed to the scrap heap, in a move aimed at perking up slumping sales.

The ministries of finance and commerce announced the plan Wednesday, as industry figures showed vehicle sales slumped by about 14 percent in May from the month before.

China's booming auto market became the world's largest in 2009, but sales slowed after an earlier program to exchange old vehicles for subsidies on new ones ended at the beginning of the year. The new program covers a smaller range of vehicles, including rural passenger vehicles six to 15 years old, old city buses and old heavy trucks.

(This version CORRECTS APNewsNow. Corrects that sales decline is from month before, not year before)

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