China’s auto sales increase

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Shanghai - China's auto sales rose 8.8 percent year-on-year to just over 2.0 million vehicles in April, an industry group said Friday, although volumes in the world's largest car market weakened from the previous month.

Auto sales in China had reached 2.17 million units in March, though annual growth then was only 6.6 percent, previous figures showed.

Sales of passenger vehicles alone surged 11.6 percent to 1.61 million vehicles last month, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said in a statement.

The world's car-makers showed off more than 1,000 models in Beijing in April as China held its premier auto show, even though weak economic growth and environmental concerns have cast uncertainty over the market.

Sales surged 13.9 percent to 21.98 million vehicles last year, but analysts say restrictions on car numbers by some cities due to concerns over pollution and congestion could cut into purchases this year.

In the first four months of 2014, the country's auto sales rose 9.1 percent to 7.93 million vehicles, the association said, adding that production and sales continued to be “stable” this year.

In a market where foreign brands tend to perform more strongly, US auto giant General Motors said its vehicle sales in China

increased 6.3 percent to 278,263 units in April compared year-on-year, a record for the month.

Competitor Ford said its April China sales soared 29 percent to 96,829 vehicles year-on-year, according to a company statement. - Sapa-AFP



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